COURTESY: PROVIDENCE - Kelly Buechler, executive director of the Providence Portland Medical Foundation (right), recently took part in an open house and media tour of the Providence Guest House, located at 4477 N.E. Glisan Street.A cancer diagnosis is stressful enough without having to worry about how you’re going to get to your cancer treatment center.

If you need cancer treatments, and you live within the metropolitan area, your hospital is probably a short highway trip from home. Not so for Oregonians who live in remote areas. They face the prospect of traveling hours to get their treatments.

The Providence Guest House, which opened Aug. 3, is going to make life easier for these patients and their families. It’s a 30-unit guest housing facility just a few steps from the hospital it will serve, Providence Portland Medical Center. Funded through the generosity of Providence donors, the $6 million project replaces a six-unit apartment building.

Kelly Buechler, executive director of the Providence Portland Medical Foundation, is happy to see the project finished. He recently took part in an open house and media tour of the facility, located at 4477 N.E. Glisan Street.

“This project started years ago,” Buechler said. “We’ve known for a long time that Providence Portland Medical Center is becoming increasingly a destination for health care services. People are coming from across the state of Oregon, but they’re also coming from across the nation, and really, from around the world.”

These patients are facing enough challenges and the Providence Guest House will help them out.

“They’re coming at a stressful time in their lives,” Buechler said. “Finding accommodations that are convenient, safe, affordable — that’s a huge challenge. Our foundation board committed to raising the necessary funds.”

The entire guest house has been built through philanthropic efforts comprised of private donations, corporate donations and family foundations.

According to Buechler, “We’ve had a total of 1,200 donors that have contributed to this project. Many are very small contributions. Our largest was a million dollars.”

As an example, the kitchen and dining room were helped through a $200,000 donation from Windermere Foundation.

The Providence Guest House is a 20,000 square foot facility with 30 guest rooms and a large communal living area in the lower level. Among the amenities: a family room with a fireplace, a library, a communal kitchen, dining area and laundry services.

“This has been on our wish list for years,” Lyn Glenn, executive director, Providence cancer program, Oregon, said. “I think it’s going to be a huge benefit for our cancer patients.”

One benefit might be a reduction in stress from navigating through traffic.

COURTESY: PROVIDENCE - This is one of the 30 rooms in the new Providence Guest House.“I’m a Portlander. I’ve lived in this area for so long,” Glenn pointed out. “I don’t think anything of driving across town - somebody coming up from Coos Bay or from John Day, they’re very overwhelmed with the traffic. Having them across the street where they can come in, get settled in, and not have to keep driving around, is a huge stress reliever.”

The guest house will serve other patients as well, according to Glenn.

“Absolutely. We opened a neonatal intensive care unit,” she said. “There are so many areas of the hospital that are going to be using this. It’s going to be used for a lot of different programs.”

Other cities in Oregon offer much needed hospital services, but sometimes it’s necessary to make the trip to Portland.

“There are cancer centers in other areas of the state,” Glenn said. “But there are certain procedures, treatments and research protocols that are not available outside of the Portland area.”

Glenn said the Providence Guest House has generated a lot of excitement.

“A lot of our donors, who helped to support the opening of this guest housing, are former patients who either didn’t have housing or stayed in smaller apartments.”

Buechler is already hearing from the community and is thrilled the project is complete. “We’ve had a number of civic organizations that have asked about coming in and cooking meals for those guests,” he said.

Providence Guest House, located a block away from the hospital, will be a great addition to the Portland scene.

“Here at Providence, we have this concept of, ‘know me, care for me, ease my way,’” Buechler said. “It’s just something that we needed to offer for a long time. It ties right in with what Portland is all about.”


Providence Portland Medical Foundation is the fundraising arm of Providence Portland Medical Center.

The foundation raises money throughout the year for all of the many projects at Providence Portland Medical Center.

The foundation helps in many ways, including cancer research and cancer support services.

Donations for the Providence Guest House included an anonymous gift of $1 million.

Each room has its own kitchenette, with a microwave, refrigerator and sink. The guest house offers a patio.

Scott Keith is a freelance writer for the Portland Tribune and Pamplin Media Group. If you have a health tip, or a story idea, you may reach Scott at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..