Davis House celebrates anniversary

The Davis House marked its first year of serving Davis Health System residents Friday, with many community members stopping by to join in the celebration at the Elkins facility.

The Davis House was originally conceived as a safehouse for residents who were undergoing cancer treatments and could not afford to or were not able to travel back and forth from their homes to the hospital.

“The genesis of the idea for something like this came from a situation in 2011 where we became aware of a patient who was sleeping in his car because he couldn’t travel to and from his treatments,” said Dan Bucher, special projects coordinator at Davis Health System.

“We put him up for his treatment in a hotel room but we explored our options to make sure that we could do everything we could to ensure that this situation wouldn’t happen again.”

Cancer treatments usually last between six to eight weeks. Residents come and stay for the duration of their treatment at their leisure.

“We give them a key and they come and go as they please over the course of their treatment,” said Tracy Fath, director of marketing at DHS. “This service is characteristic of our region. People do not feel well after their treatment and this provides them with a comfortable and convenient location for them to rest and recover.”

The Davis House has seen up to 13 families utilize the services over the past year. The facility is operated entirely by donations from the public.

Some of the people involved in the service Friday reflected on what they have learned in a year. The facility now not only houses cancer patients but others undergoing in-patient treatments.

“If nothing else it has reaffirmed that this was the right thing to do and that this is a service that is needed,” Bucher said. “We are seeing the house getting more and more utilization with each passing month.”

The facility also features a service allowing people to memorialize a cancer survivor or loved one by buying a brick and having it engraved in front of the Davis House.

“It’s one of the most amazing features of the Davis House,” Bucher said. “It’s a visual representation of what the Davis House is all about.”