Rossi Guest House transitioning entirely to Heartland Inn March 1

The remaining guest rooms that make up the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Family Suite in the Helen Rossi Volunteer Guest House on 4 South General Hospital (Elevator C, Level 4) will be relocated to the Heartland Inn in Coralville as of March 1, 2019. This will allow for the construction of a new 4 South Adult Inpatient Unit—a general medicine unit planned to open in the fall of 2019.

Since 2016, Rossi Guest House staff have been coordinating rooms for families of adult patients at the Heartland Inn (when the 5 South Short Stay Unit opened). Now, families of both pediatric and adult patients will be housed at the Heartland Inn, with a total of 22 dedicated guest rooms.

About Helen K. Rossi

Helen K. Rossi was a steadfast champion of family-centered care for over 40 years at UI Hospitals & Clinics. She was one of the founders of the Volunteer Program in 1973, and since then, thousands of volunteers have contributed nearly 3 million service hours and raised over $6 million to support our patients and families. Rossi was also a founder of the Iowa City Ronald McDonald House, which opened to families of pediatric patients in 1985. The Helen K. Rossi Volunteer Guest House opened within UI Hospitals & Clinics 1997. More than 18,000 families have benefitted from its services.

FAQs for staff

Are the rates changing?

No, the base rates for families in a Rossi Guest House room will not change from the current model, but families will now pay tax. The rest of the rate will continue to be covered by UI Hospitals & Clinics.

Room cost:

  • Pediatric patient families: $10/night + tax ($11.20 total)
  • Adult patient families: $30/night + tax ($33.60 total)

Transportation: How will families get back and forth?

A free shuttle from the Heartland Inn will continue to run from the UI Hospitals & Clinics Main Entrance, Pomerantz Family Pavilion Entrance, and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Main Entrance during these hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 5:50 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Weekend: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If family transportation is needed for a patient emergency during off-hours, Heartland Inn staff will get cab service, and the hospital will cover the cost.

How many rooms at the Heartland Inn will be dedicated to Rossi Guest House families? 

Twenty-two rooms total will be reserved for:

  • Families of adult patients (11 rooms) and
  • Families of pediatric patients (11 rooms)

Depending on Heartland Inn occupancy, two additional rooms may also be available.

How do families get placed on the waiting list?

Requests must be made through the hospital by calling the Rossi Guest House staff at 319-384-9240. Consistent with current practice, reservations are not taken. Families or other hospital staff members assisting the family may call. They should not contact the Heartland Inn directly.

Hours to call:

  • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday, and UI holidays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Off-hours, call the same number and leave a message. A Rossi Guest House staff member will call back the following morning. (All rooms are typically full by the end of each day.)

The Rossi Guest House staff member answering this number will be located in the Concierge Services area in the UI Hospitals & Clinics Main Entrance Lobby. On weekends/holidays they may be contacted at the Main Information Desk (Elevator E, Level 1). Families may also come here in person during the hours listed above.

Which families get to stay in these rooms?

Placements are determined solely by Rossi Guest House staff—not the Heartland Inn staff. Families are given priority based on existing Rossi Guest House guidelines, and for pediatric families, generally to families with no sleeping space in their child’s hospital room.

Is food provided?

In place of the current food pantry on 4 South, the Heartland Inn will provide the following complimentary meals: Breakfast will be provided every day and a complimentary dinner on Monday through Thursday.

Will the Clothes Closet remain?

Yes, the Rossi Guest House Clothes Closet will continue under the oversight of Guest Services. Requests from nursing units and clinics will continue to call 319-384-9240, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends and UI holidays.

Other amenities?

All guest rooms have:

  • Microwaves
  • Mini-refrigerators

Also available for use:

  • Cribs
  • Wheelchairs
  • Coin-operated clothes washers and dryer

Breast pumps are not available at the Heartland Inn, but on request, Rossi Guest House staff will provide information for mothers to obtain breast pumps to use during their stay.

How will the transition work for families currently staying in on-site Rossi Guest House rooms?

All families staying in the Rossi Guest House rooms in General Hospital as of February 28 will be moved to the Heartland Inn, under the rates listed above ($11.20 per night for pediatric families).


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