Located on the northeast corner of Tejon and Madison, just across the street from Penrose Hospital, the John Zay Guest House is a 22 room and/or suite hospitality residence available for outpatients and families of patients receiving treatment at Penrose Hospital or Penrose Cancer Center.
This home-away-from-home for patients living 30 miles or more outside of Colorado Springs provides respite and an opportunity for families to remain together during treatment. The house provides precisely what is needed – a place to sleep, shower, eat, pray and to find comfort and companionship.
All of this gives patients and families one less thing to worry about when dealing with incredibly stressful medical situations. Many of these families have very limited financial resources, and having to find and pay for lodging brings an additional burden.
The guest house was named in honor of John Zay, a cancer floor chaplain at Penrose Hospital for more than fourteen years. John was a cancer survivor of twenty years, and heard his call to minister to cancer patients during that experience. John died in 2004, but the ministry he loved is gratefully continued in this wonderful home.
On Monday, October 30, the John Zay Guest House celebrated the opening of a newly-constructed addition to the main house. Approximately 100 people joined together to participate in the blessing of the structure, which contains 11 mini-suites and will provide between 3,600 and 4,000 additional nights of lodging for patients and their families.
Since its opening, the original John Zay Guest House has almost always been full, with a consistent waiting list of 7 to 10 families. There have been as many as 20 parties waiting for a room -enough to more than fill an entire second house.
As Penrose-St. Francis’ reputation as a regional center of excellence for oncology and cardiovascular services continues to grow, this need has increased, with more patients and families from outside Colorado Springs needing accommodation.
With this in mind, we began a campaign to raise money for an addition to the original Guest House.
On May 11, 2017, the Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation was pleased to announce that we had raised the $2 million in estimated project costs, enabling us to break ground on the much-needed expansion to the John Zay Guest House. Groundbreaking on the project took place on June 23, 2017.
This achievement is additionally significant, as the project was funded entirely by philanthropic donations made by individual donors and local-area foundations. The local Housing & Building Association, through their philanthropic arm “HBA Cares”, coordinated and secured $500,000 of donated services and materials.
This wonderful community asset is now open and welcoming patients and their families – providing a place in close proximity to the hospital while their loved one receives the care and treatment they need.
Healing the whole person in body, mind and spirit, is truly emphasized at the John Zay Guest House. The house is managed by Sister Lou Krippel and Mickey Zay, John Zay’s widow, and dedicated volunteers who console, pray and celebrate with house guests. A member of the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses Inc., the guest house is located at 2131 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.