Beth Hansen has been the TreeHouse Resident Assistant and Manager of the TreeHouse for the past decade and has been a Liberty Hospital employee since 1985. In her reflection, she has seen the need for the Hospital’s hospitality house evolve and is excited to help the Foundation’s renovation campaign to make this community resource the Northland’s strongest patient resource yet.
Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Answer: “I started at Liberty Hospital in 1985, and in 2009 I started working weekends in the TreeHouse. In 2013 I started working for the TreeHouse full-time.” Beth has been the third person to manage the TreeHouse since it was built in 2004, and we are so excited that she has stayed a decade to help the Foundation make care more accessible for the Foundation through the hospitality house. “it was a fun switch for me to be able to work more flexible hours to be there for my grandkids.”
Question: What do you love most about the TreeHouse?
Answer: “I love the guests. The comraderie that I have built with them over the years is amazing. In my role I do grow close to the individuals and families who stay there. Some of the guests are more long-term as they come from various treatments or family members and you form real relationships with them.” The amount of care and attention that Beth spends with the TreeHouse guests helps see the individuals at the Hospital as more than patients but as people: community members, business owners, volunteers.
Question: What is one of your favorite stories with a guest you became friends with?
Answer: “There’s been so many it’s hard to remember just one! I remember one woman who was there during the pandemic receiving radiation, she was the only guest at that time. She was so personable, she stayed there for quite awhile. She would bring people, she would sew. Another time, I was making pies during the holidays, and these ladies jumped in and gave me hints and exchanged recipes. Another time, when the Royals were in the World Series, a group of radiation patients who were staying there ordered in pizza to watch the games. There’s so many fun stories like that!” Beth has gone above and beyond to take extraordinary care of the guests staying there; she even helped a woman who had accidentally broken their medical equipment find and replace a part.
Question: Who are typical guests at the TreeHouse?
Answer: “Guests span from individuals, couples to families. There are individuals with radiation, people who come from all different counties and states, for the birthing center if a family member is giving birth.” The TreeHouse is truly a haven for anyone who is impacted by Liberty Hospital’s services. This amenity being so inclusive to all types of individuals whether it’s in a storm before an early surgery, those receiving cancer care, or staying there while a loved one is in the Hospital, the TreeHouse is always there. It is truly what makes Liberty Hospital a premier provider of health care in the KC Metro.
Question: Tell us more about your day-to-day work as the Resident Assistant and Manager of the TreeHouse?
Answer: Beth has an apartment unit at the TreeHouse where she stays on-site most days. In fact, “typical” days for Beth have come to a hault: “with the construction underway for the major TreeHouse renovation, we are working on organizing and accommodating as best we can while we make the necessary updates for our guests. We are just so excited to have more usable space, and more comfortable and updated rooms. This renovation will definitely change my day-to-day with new technology and guest amenities.” Otherwise, Beth describes her days like this: “I’ll start my days around 4PM where I help guests check in. Someone may have a surgery the next morning or is going to have a baby or they’ve had a baby and they will stay there to go back and forth. I’ll help check them in and out, while helping them feel comfortable on the Hospital’s campus.”
Question: What is your favorite room at the TreeHouse?
Answer: “I love the hearth room. That and the kitchen area is just everybody’s favorite. Everybody says, ‘don’t change a thing we love how warm this space is!'” To insert, the hearth room is staying intact with a few modernizations like new flooring, kitchen appliances, ADA accessibility in the kitchen, and televisions!
Question: How has the need for the TreeHouse evolved over the years?
Answer: “As we see more radiation patients, the need for greater wheelchair accessibility is important. There are a lot of guests that have mobility difficulties because of their treatments or care and the renovation that we are undertaking will make this so much easier for this evolving guest need: Push button doors, wider entryways, easier access and so on.” Additionally, Beth is excited about the basement to be finished for the first time to become meeting space and a community resource center. “I care about the ‘simple comforts’ that this renovation will bring like individual heating in cooling in each room and multimedia entertainment in each room; if they’re happy, I’m happy!” Beth notes how often patient remark how amazing it is to have a hospitality house at the Hospital and how Liberty is a model for the future of health care in this way. The Liberty Hospital Foundation is proud to oversee the TreeHouse program that impacts and improves the care of so many in our community.
Thank you for all that you do for the Hospital and Liberty community, Beth!