The Evergreen Lodge, a low-cost housing facility for cancer patients at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, held a celebration to mark its 20th anniversary on Aug. 26. Members of the original Evergreen Lodge planning committee were joined by community residents, hospital staff, physicians and others who marked the milestone at the lodge during the celebration last week.
During the event, St. Joseph Hospital CEO Joe Mark addressed the audience, noting that the facility has played a significant role in easing the burden of cancer treatment on local patients. He also discussed the importance of community collaboration in the facility’s creation and thanked the American Cancer Society, College of the Redwoods, Southwest Rotary Club and St. Joseph Hospital for their vision in building such a beautiful facility. He also spoke of hope for the future of cancer treatment with the vision of building a comprehensive cancer center very soon.
The event also featured speakers John Gierek, Sr, and Sylvia Jutlia, original members of the Evergreen Lodge advisory board as well as CR President Jeff Marsee.
About the Evergreen Lodge:
For 20 years, the Evergreen Lodge has provided local residents living in more rural regions of the North Coast with inexpensive living accommodations as they undergo cancer treatment at St. Joseph Hospital. Before the lodge existed, patients, many of whom were facing up to eight weeks of daily treatments, were often faced with either commuting in each day or staying at a local hotel for the duration of their treatment.
It took a collaborative effort involving many local organizations to make the Evergreen Lodge a reality. St. Joseph Hospital provided the land for the facility and assisted with the coordination and development of the project, while College of the Redwoods’ vocational/technical arts program contributed the labor using materials donated by local companies. Local foundations contributed funding and local organizations like the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka and the American Cancer Society spearheaded the project.
Since its inception in August 1990, thousands of cancer patients have stayed at the Evergreen Lodge, as well as countless other patients when there were accommodations for them. In 2009 alone, an average of 262 people per month were housed in the lodge (nearly 3,200 for the year) who were from states as far away as Florida.
The Lodge was expanded in 2002 from an eight-room facility to 14 rooms in response to an obvious need for more accommodations – and once again, local community organizations stepped up to make the expansion plans happen.
The Evergreen Lodge is located on the St. Joseph Hospital campus at 2711 Dolbeer Street in Eureka.