On March 8, 2016 I had the pleasure of attending the reception in recognition of the 25th year of operation of the Seton League House. The Seton League House was established in 1979 to provide a place for families to stay when loved ones come to Austin for surgery. While originally intended for use of patients of the Seton Hospital System, the facility has grown and now provides lodging accommodations for families and patients traveling to practices and health care facilities from distances far away. For instance, at the reception we heard the story of a young adult from Midland severely injured in an automobile accident just outside Austin. He had been hospitalized at University Medical Center Brackenridge for over thirty days. His mother, father and extended family were provided – at low cost -private rooms, free parking, and other amenities that allowed them to be near their son as he underwent ten operations and medical treatments, with more to come. His mother was passionate about the loving care he received at the hospital. As important was the fact she was able to stay in the local area and support her son while relatives, at home in Midland, helped care for his siblings. The patient’s father drove to Austin on weekends to be near his son and both stayed in the recently renovated facility that she described as a “home away from home”.
The facility can accommodate approximately 38 families in private rooms. It is located at 3207 Medical Parkway, Austin, TX 78705, immediately adjacent to Seton Medical Center Austin. The Seton League House is funded through The Seton Fund with donations from generous individuals, grateful patients, local businesses and foundations, as well as Seton Healthcare employees. The facility charges a nominal fee of $35.00 per room per night but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Some families have stayed for several months while a family member is undergoing treatment at the hospital. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that use is not restricted to Seton network patients. In fact, approximately 30% of the families that stay are having care or surgery at St. David’s Hospital. The physicians at TOC Eye and Face are well aware of the benefits to patients traveling to Austin for care in our practice. In fact, since 2009 over 2,000 patients and family members of our practice have stayed in the facility. Our practice is the third largest group to utilize the Seton League House. Knowing this it was easy for us to make a substantial contribution to The Seton Fund that oversees fundraising for the Seton League House. The goal for the 25th anniversary was to raise $25,000.00. Thanks to generous donations from board members, and corporations, medical practices, such as ours, and private individuals, the foundation raised in excess of $23,000 to support the Seton League House.
TOC Eye and Face cares for patients in our satellite offices stretching from Waco to Bryan-College Station, to San Angelo and on to Midland. Our patients and their families travel to Austin for medical and surgical care. Thus, we are acutely aware of the benefits this wonderful facility and staff provide our patients. This “Ronald McDonald House” for adults is unique and a true gem available to Texans receiving medical care in Austin. If you would like to learn more about the Seton League House, please write to Tonia Jones or visit https://www.seton.net/locations/league-house/. Please consider making a donation to support the Seton League House, you may do so by sending a check or money order to The Seton Fund c/o Seton League House, 1201 W 38th St., Austin, TX 78705-9988.
John W. Shore, M.D., F.A.C.S.