The power of five is beautiful

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If two are better than one, then five must be darn near unbeatable.

The project gracing today’s front page represents a collaboration of colossal proportions: Five entities stretching across two states to touch untold hearts.

Kootenai Health, the Community Cancer Fund, Katerra, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Kootenai Health Foundation all have pulled their passion into one place. The result will make it possible for people to worry a little bit less at one of the most difficult times of their lives.

In those five you have a community-owned hospital; a Spokane-based charity whose point guard is a Coeur d’Alene lad; a Spokane-based construction technology company; a beloved, nationally recognized nonprofit for sick kids; and the local nonprofit whose activities and fundraising are separate from but geared toward making our hospital the best it can be. This disparate but fascinating collection of public and private interests bodes well not just for The Hospitality Center at Kootenai Health, but the model could inspire others to look beyond standard partnerships and tepid outcomes.

What you need is somebody like Jerid Keefer, a Coeur d’Alene native who has made the celebrity golf Showcase event a massive fundraiser for Community Cancer Fund and our local hospital. According to Jon Ness, Kootenai Health’s leader, Keefer deserves credit as the idea man behind The Hospitality Center and one of its most powerful driving forces.

What you also need is somebody like Jeremy Evans, the man who will take Keefer’s big ideas and transform them into action plans and blueprints as Kootenai Health’s executive vice president of hospital and regional operations.

It helps that you have as big and beautiful a brand as Ronald McDonald House on board and a bright young third-generation leader of a respected Spokane real estate private equity firm, Alvin “Fritz” Wolff Jr., lending his tangible and intellectual support through Katerra. You’ll hear more about Wolff and Katerra as they address workforce housing deficiencies like nobody’s addressed them before.

For now, what we have is a chunk of ground that was broken Thursday amid much fanfare and optimism.

What we’ll have next year are fabulous, affordable places for families to be close to loved ones receiving intensive medical care; safe harbors where strangers become friends and form support networks.

Places we can all be proud of.

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