Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Business

South Buffalo’s Grace Guest House serves families of patients

The Grace Guest House, located in the former St. John the Evangelist Rectory at Cazenovia Park, recently became the first nonprofit guest house in South Buffalo to serve families with a loved one being cared for at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October, Cynthia Battista, Grace Guest House president and founding director, credited the board of directors and Michael Salvadore, president of Concrete Applied Technology Company, for establishing the facility.

“Michael believed in Grace’s mission when it was just a vision, stood strong with us through it all and provided the financial means for Grace to serve families in this beautiful guest house,” said Battista.

She said the ribbon-cutting reflected the culmination of Grace’s four-year incubation as a grass-roots startup that was powered by the strength and tenacity of its inaugural board. At the same time, she said, the ceremony celebrated “the beginning of our impact as we begin to carry out Grace’s mission.”

Battista was inspired to establish Grace Guest House after learning about a friend’s experience after his son suffered a traumatic medical crisis. The family traveled hundreds of miles to support their loved one and came back to share the profound experience and supportive environment they had while staying in a health care hospitality house.

Grace Guest House offers complimentary transportation between the house and Mercy Hospital in a shuttle van donated by West Herr Auto Group. The home includes 11 bedrooms and six full bathrooms.

“We are very grateful to Cindy Battista for her amazing enthusiasm and perseverance to bring this much needed community service to fruition,” said Mercy Hospital President and CEO C.J. Urlaub. “Because of her vision, our patients and their loved ones, especially those who travel long distances for heart and stroke care at Mercy Hospital, will benefit by having a home away from home and a way to stay close and supportive during the healing process.”

Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, a 385-bed acute care hospital and regional tertiary care center, is home to the Catholic Health Heart Center and the Comprehensive Stroke Center, caring for patients undergoing open heart surgery and cardiac interventional procedures, those with complex stroke cases, and a range of other critical care services. Subsequently, the hospital serves a growing number of patients from outlying areas of the region.

“Grace Guest House is a home built with heart,” said Rep. Brian Higgins. “From conception to its operation, this is a place that seeks to embrace those who want to be close to loved ones going through difficult times and in doing so takes one less worry away from families. We commend Cynthia and the many partners who made this happen.”

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns said, “We know that when someone we love and care about suddenly ends up needing critical care at the hospital, lives are turned upside down. The last thing anyone with a loved one in critical care should have to worry about is where they will sleep at night. Grace Guest House fills a significant void in this area of patient and family care.

“I commend Cynthia Battista of Grace Guest House, Mercy Hospital and West Herr for stepping up to fill this void, and relieve undue stress on families at Mercy Hospital.”

Grace Guest House expects to serve approximately 1,000 families every year.

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