Sutter Transplant Housing Guests Upgrade TVs
Jul 10, 2024
Sutter Health

Photo: Leanne Westphal (left) stands with her granddaughter Charlotte Moore (middle) and daughter Hannah Moore (right).

By Kathy Engle, Vitals contributor

Home. A four-letter word that evokes feelings of comfort, familiarity and safety. Now imagine being far away from home while recovering from a life-saving procedure. What would put your mind at ease when you’re staying in a hospital or in an unfamiliar city? In 2021 Scott Westphal, a retiree from Shasta Lake, Calif., had a liver transplant at Sutter’s CPMC Van Ness Campus in San Francisco. Traveling from far away, he and his wife Leanne were able to stay at Sutter’s transplant housing to be close to his medical team following surgery.

A freshly painted apartment building in San Francisco

Sutter CPMC’s apartment complex in San Francisco provides temporary low-cost housing for patients in recovery following their organ transplantation.

“Scott served on the board of the Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento, which also provides temporary housing to families who travel long distance for medical crises, so we understand and appreciate the value of a safe, supportive home away from home,” Leanne says.

The recently renovated transplant housing is a 12-unit apartment building in San Francisco less than a mile from the hospital. Although the accommodations were sufficient, some creature comforts were not ideal for Scott.

“Scott was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite teams on the big screen,” Leanne adds. “At one point he measured the screen and said my laptop was bigger and he kept saying, ‘When I get better, I am buying real-sized televisions for these rooms.’”

While Scott had hoped to donate TVs to mark the one-year anniversary of his transplant, he unfortunately passed away roughly five months after the procedure. Leanne wanted to see his idea come to fruition and several friends contributed to her gift of new televisions for each apartment. “I’m proud he had the idea of the TVs,” says Leanne, who visited this spring to view the apartments with her daughter Hannah Moore and granddaughter Charlotte. “It was a small way to pay it forward. Even though losing Scott is never easy, knowing we fulfilled one of his wishes gives me peace.”

Scott, Leanne, and everyone involved have all made a difference in adding their own touch of home into the housing units. “Through the incredible generosity of our donors, we can offer transplant patients a modern, comfortable and affordable home away from home where they can focus on their healing and well-being,” Sutter CPMC CEO Hamila Kownacki says. “The building also provides housing for promising medical students who represent the future of medicine, making it a powerful resource for the community and our patients.”

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