Kathy’s House is a caring place where guests can eat, sleep, and be with others when they want – or be alone when they need time, introspection, and quiet healing. The house provides a place where mutual support thrives – one of the great strengths of Kathy’s House.
A vital resource in the Milwaukee health care community, Kathy’s House is the only hospital guest house in the area that serves patients of all ages and their caregivers and serves all the hospitals in Milwaukee. Any patient receiving outpatient treatment at a Milwaukee area hospital, along with their caregiver(s), is eligible to become a guest at Kathy’s House. Caregivers of patients in a Milwaukee area hospital are also eligible. Read our Guest Policy to learn more. The application process for a prospective guest starts with a Referral from a health care professional.
History of Kathy’s House
Kathy’s House is dedicated to the memory of Dick and Judy Vogel’s daughter, Kathy Vogel Kuettner, who died on July 4, 2000, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Kathy was a kind, generous woman who had great empathy for fellow patients facing serious illness without the support of family and friends as they traveled to Milwaukee for treatment. Her wish – to always make a difference and to help fellow patients – became a reality with the opening of Kathy’s House in July 2001.
A young wife and mother of three small daughters, Kathy Vogel Kuettner was diagnosed in the spring of 1999 with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from her oldest sister, Susan. Kathy was out of the hospital less than a month when the cancer returned. After fighting a year-long battle against this tenacious and rare form of cancer, Kathy passed away on July 4th, 2000, at 39 years old.
Kathy had a wide and deep network of support during her illness. Her hospital room was often full of visitors. As she battled this terminal illness surrounded by her daughters, husband, family and friends, Kathy worried about someone else – a young man down the hall. Like Kathy, he was a cancer inpatient at Froedtert Hospital, only he was dying alone because his family who lived out of town could not afford to be with him. Her nurses, at the time, also lamented the lack of a Milwaukee area hospital hospitality house to lodge and support these families. While there was the Ronald McDonald House, it only served children. Inspired by her wish to right this heartbreaking injustice, Kathy’s House was founded in July 2001 by her family and friends, certified as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Today, Kathy’s House is a loving home-away-from-home for out-of-town families of a loved one who is seriously ill, as well as patients who need to access life-saving treatments. Almost 90% of guests who stay at Kathy’s house have cancer or a loved one with cancer. Kathy’s House keeps families together during a medical crisis by providing lodging, transportation and emotional support to patients of all ages and their families.
While Kathy’s House began as one person’s vision, it quickly became a team effort. Following Kathy’s death in 2000, Kathy’s father, Dick Vogel, dedicated his life to fulfilling the promise he made to his daughter. With the support of his wife Judy, family and friends, Dick served as the Executive Director of Kathy’s House from 2001-2012 and then continued the Board of Directors until his death in 2014.
Six dedicated people joined Dick and Judy Vogel’s efforts to help make Kathy’s wish a reality. Each of the additional founding members, listed below, are credited as the heroes who worked tirelessly alongside Dick Vogel to create Kathy’s House, a hospital hospitality house, which would provide assistance to patients of all ages and their families while they receive long-term care for critical, medical issues in the Milwaukee area. Many of these founders were either family members or close family friends of the Vogels.
Other Founding Members are Herb Ayres, Michael Bennett, Dan Chaudoir, Elaine Hoth, Marty Kraninger, Glen Van Fossen and Judy Vogel (Kathy’s mother).
Kathy’s House is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors comprised of community leaders, health care representatives, and family members of Kathy Vogel Kuettner.
The father of Kathy Vogel Kuettner, Dick Vogel, served as Executive Director beginning on July 1, 2001 when Kathy’s House opened, until the summer of 2012.
In following the wishes of Kathy, Dick’s vision was to create a safe, comfortable, and affordable place for families and patients to stay within a home-like atmosphere. It was this vision that transformed Kathy’s House into the vital organization that it is today.
Current Board of Directors are Jack Anick Retired, Owner, Anick & Associates Anthony Anzelmo Secretary Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP John Balzer VP Facility Planning & Development, Froedtert Health Carolyn Bellin Public Relations Executive Abby Brzezinski Principal, Red Sky Partners LLC Tina Curtis Vice President, Cancer Service Line, Froedtert Health Sue Derus Retired Executive Director, Cancer Services, Froedtert Health Mark Filla Vice Chair and Treasurer Senior Vice President, The Filla Latzke Group at Ameriprise Elizabeth Forman Owner, Endwell Coaching and Consulting Ran Hoth Uncle of Kathy Vogel Kuettner Retired, WI Better Business Bureau Melinda Lanham Director of Development, Versiti BloodCenter of WI Abbey Magnuson Associate, Foley & Lardner, LLP Patrick McGarry Chief Financial Officer, Wixon Inc.; General Manager, Gott Pet Products Bill Severson Retired, Manager, Rockwell Automation Kathy Sieja Retired, Media Relations Director, Froedtert Health Malika Siker, M.D. Radiation Oncologist, Associate Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin Ritika Singh Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Catholic Relief Services Mona Theobald Chair Retired, General Manager of Customer Experience and Advocacy, GE Healthcare Marilyn Thiet Immediate Past Chair Owner, Edge Performance Acceleration Laura Vogel Woods Sister of Kathy Vogel Kuettner Occupational Therapist, Home Health
To learn more how you can help, please call Mary K at 414-453-8290 x276.
Special Thanks to all of the people helping to make Kathy’s House a success helping people in need assist with their loved ones. To learn more about this amazing legacy visit their website at https://kathys-house.org/