PINEHURST — Five years ago, FirstHealth of the Carolinas responded to a need that its medical team, nursing staff and many others had long been aware of — that the far-reaching geography of the multi-county health care system often made it difficult for patients or families to manage the distance from their homes to the specialty services of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.
The response was the Clara McLean House, which on Sunday, April 30, will be the site of a five-year birthday celebration for the FirstHealth hospitality house. From 1 to 5 p.m., visitors are invited to enjoy activities, including an arts and crafts display, a Sabika jewelry sale benefiting the facility, a yoga class, a Monarch Butterfly talk and cake decorating. They can also enjoy the lush spring growth of the adjacent Clara’s House Healing Garden.
“The making of Clara’s House has been a blend of just the right people at just the right time,” says Director Rebecca Ainslie. “It’s the spirit here that counts and, as one of our recent guests said, ‘Miracle places really do exist.’”
Located across Memorial Drive from the main entrance to Moore Regional, Clara’s House (as the facility is informally known) provides the comfort and convenience of extended stays or brief rest periods for patients undergoing extended treatment or therapy at the hospital and for the families of patients at both Moore Regional and the nearby FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care.
Since it opened, Clara’s House has welcomed more than 7,000 guests from such foreign countries as the Philippines, Canada, France and Argentina, as well as from throughout North Carolina and the United States. One of the North Carolina guests was a Richmond County woman who had the following to say about her Clara’s House stay:
“I am so grateful there was a place I could stay while getting my treatments,” she says. “The volunteers and staff at Clara’s House really care. It was just like being home. The Healing Garden is refreshing. It puts your mind at ease. You all really do care.”
Named for a longtime FirstHealth benefactor, Clara’s House provides a range of patient support and advocacy services in addition to affordable lodging based on the guest’s ability to pay. The house was built and continues to be fully sustained by community support through The Foundation of FirstHealth.
“These first five years have positioned Clara’s House as more than just a room to stay overnight,” Ainslie says. “Of equal importance, our doors have been opened to the very community that made Clara’s House possible with offerings of support groups, educational events and the lovely Healing Garden. At Clara’s House, people find just the right combination of kindness and hope to help them on their journey. We have a bright future with the imprint we have already made on our health care system and our community, and we invite the community to join us in celebrating this very special milestone at the open house.”
For more information on the Clara McLean House, call 910-715-4220 or visit www.firsthealth.org/clara-mclean-house.