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National Ability Center provides lodging for hospital personnel

Jeff Dempsey
The Park Record
National Ability Center CEO Kevin Stickelman.
Park Record file photo

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing life to a halt in Summit County, area nonprofits are finding ways to help those who need it, be it with existing services or new ones.

The National Ability Center is one of the organizations that came up with something new. For about two weeks now, the NAC has given over its 52-bed lodge facility for use by the Park City Hospital. Medical personnel who wish to avoid going home and risk spreading the disease to loved ones can instead stay at the lodge between shifts.

National Ability Center CEO Kevin Stickelman said Park City Mayor Andy Beerman brought the idea to him. After discussions with the hospital administration, the plan was put into action.

“The hospital needed a place to house staff who couldn’t return home each day,” Stickelman said. “Maybe there is someone in their household with a compromised immune system, who is high risk for some reason, or even just because they have a short turnaround between shifts.”

The lodge turned out to be the ideal option, for a variety of reasons. It has 25 rooms and 52 beds, as well as a kitchen and other amenities. Beyond that, it’s located near the Park City Hospital and the Park City Ice Arena, the parking lot of which is being used for drive-through coronavirus testing.

“As far as location goes you can’t do any better than our facility,” Stickelman said.

The lodge has seen a lot of use already. While some nights only a few personnel stay at the lodge, Stickelman said there have been other nights where it is nearly at capacity.

As for why the NAC decided to make the lodge available to hospital personnel, Stickelman said he saw it as a way for the NAC to do its part at a time when many of its operations have been curtailed.

“It’s a small part, but the best thing we can do right now is provide use of our facilities,” he said. “We are not on the front lines with our staff during this health crisis. The resource we have available to give is our facilities, so that’s what we’re doing to support the community.”

Stickelman said he wanted to stress that there are nonprofits in Summit County that are on the front lines, so to speak. Groups like the Park City Community Foundation, Peace House, Christian Center of Park City and Jewish Family Service, to name a few, are serving the needs of the community in an immediate way, he said.

“I am just amazed every single day at what I read in the paper and what I hear from the community about what these other organizations are doing,” Stickelman said. “If you are looking to offer your support to a nonprofit right now, please support one of these groups who really need the resources.”

The agreement between the NAC and the Park City Hospital was for 30 days, which would give the hospital use of the lodge through May 1.

“I’ve told them, as long as they need it, it’s available,” Stickelman said.


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