GRAND RAPIDS — Mercy Health’s parent company bought back the American Cancer Society Foundation’s former Hope Lodge building and property across the street from the Saint Mary’s hospital campus in Grand Rapids.
Property records indicate Trinity Health-Michigan paid $2.5 million for the property at 129 Jefferson Ave. SE.
Mercy Health originally donated the property in 2003 to the American Cancer Society, which built and opened Hope Lodge in 2008 to provide free lodging for cancer patients and caregivers who traveled to Grand Rapids for treatment. The American Cancer Society suspended Hope Lodge’s operations a year ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic and later decided to close the facility permanently, citing severe financial challenges.
“While we have made the extremely difficult decision to close the Hope Lodge, we are thankful to have reached an agreement with Mercy Health to ensure this building continues to be a valuable community asset,” Jane Caplinger, senior director for the American Cancer Society, said in a statement issued by Mercy Health. “We are thankful for the support of the community, donors and volunteers who dedicated their time and resources over the years in support of the Hope Lodge.”
The Cancer Society’s office next door to Hope Lodge will also remain closed since it “has become extremely effective in a virtual environment and will continue operations in Grand Rapids and the surrounding area,” according to the statement.
Trinity Health took ownership of the property on April 2. Mercy Health is now looking at “how the property will be repurposed, with the goal of keeping it as a site to serve the community,” the health system said.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to reacquire this property,” said Dr. Matthew Biersack, interim president and chief medical officer of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. “Just as Hope Lodge served the community, we plan to repurpose it in a way true to that spirit.”
Mercy Health continues to operate the nearby Sophia’s House, a guest house that opened in 2012 for patients and families that provides lodging at a nominal cost.