Special rooms for traveling medical patients

November 3, 2008 6:52:19 PM PST
Philadelphia is home to many top-rated hospitals with very specialized doctors. Because of that, people come from miles, even days away, to get medical care. So now a Center City retirement home is hoping to make their stay a little easier.

Jack and Renee Stewart live in Dallas, Texas. A few weeks ago, they got bad news. Jack has a rare melanoma tumor on his left eye. "So it was very scary so we just had to take it a day at a time," Renee said.

And they had to make a trip to Philadelphia. Jack was recommended to see a specialist at Wills Eye. They could have stayed at a nearby hotel but instead their doctor recommended the Watermark

Concierge Suites.

Executive director there, Jennifer Kelley, said it's a retirement building that now has special rooms for medical patients. "We really wanted to give folks the opportunity to truly recover and not have to worry about some of the things you would at home or in a hotel," she said.

The cost is comparable to center city hotels at $165 per night, but Kelley said it's their amenities that set them apart.

There's free transportation to and from medical appointments, two meals a day, a kitchen in the suite and a wellness center. Plus, there's two doctors on staff and nurses available around-the-clock. "They can do dressing changes, call the physician, we have a lot of pharmacies we deal with locally, if they need medication in the night we can assist with that, also just basic assessment," Kelley said.

And if there's an emergency, the nurses can quickly get help. "It was reassuring, we didn't have to use it but it was very reassuring to know they were here," Renee Stewart said.

Kelley said they're seeing an increasing need for these special rooms. Right now they have six and they plan to open at least 20 more.

The Stewarts said Jack's prognosis is good. They'll be back in Philadelphia for a check up in a few weeks.