Austin hotel suite opens for free use of patients’ families

Dr. Coburn Allen cuts the ribbon to the suite (KXAN Photo)
Dr. Coburn Allen cuts the ribbon to the suite (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Families with children in the hospital oftentimes sleep in their cars in the parking garage to avoid hotel room costs piling up. Tuesday, a hotel suite, designated just for patients’ families, opened at the Austin Marriott Residence Inn on East 51st Street near Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Marriott is honoring Dr. Coburn Allen by naming the suite after him, a result of his commitment to promoting and providing accessible healthcare, education and nutrition programs to underserved populations. The suite, open for up to three nights to a family at no cost, will be available to patient families selected by social workers and the care team at Dell Children’s.

“The heart of this is to take care of people who are really confused, hurting, overwhelmed — coming to our hospital and really not prepared for what’s happening — and need a place to get some rest and get some food, to really recover and take care of their own kids,” Dr. Allen said. He says the suite will help families who fall into the gap of not staying long enough to be helped by the Ronald McDonald House, but needing a place to stay for the night.

Brett Moody, the CEO and Chairman of Moody National Companies, which owns the hotel, said Dr. Allen’s work in Haiti inspired them to honor the doctor. “Him starting, founding and directing that clinic [in Haiti] has made a huge difference in the lives of the Haitians, and then he ended up adopting a young boy and bringing him back to his family.”

Allen is an emergency and pediatric infectious disease specialist at Dell Children’s. He founded Dell Children’s Medical Global Outreach program which provides much needed medical care around the world. He also serves as medical director of a clinic and orphanage in Neply, Haiti.

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