WVU Medicine Children’s scores a touchdown with its sports-themed Hostetler Family Resource Center.
When it comes to tackling a situation and carrying the ball across the goal line, Jeff Hostetler knows how to play the game. When the legendary Mountaineer quarterback and his wife, Vicky, founded the Hoss Foundation in 1991 to help children and families who found themselves enduring hardships due to traumatic injury, illness, or financial crisis, they knew firsthand the challenges parents and children face when battling health issues. They also knew that no one should be sidelined.
The Hoss Foundation has provided nearly $1 million to WVU Medicine Children’s hospital. Its latest contributions benefit the “I Am a Mountaineer” initiative that created the sports-themed Hostetler Family Resource Center in the new 150-bed hospital, which is slated to open in September 2022. Cleverly designed to look like a WVU locker room, the top floor, with its sweeping vista of Mountaineer Field and the surrounding hills, will include a drop-off care center for siblings of WVU Medicine Children’s patients; a game room; a computer and resource area to provide educational resources, registration for Ronald McDonald House, and easy access to MyWVUChart; a kitchenette with dining area and laundry services; and a school intervention classroom for group tutoring.
“Having gone through it personally, when you have a traumatic injury or illness with a child, it tears the family apart, because the rest of your life has to continue and you have to pay the bills, and yet you want to be with your child,” says Hostetler, who serves as co-chair of the “Grow Children’s” capital campaign. “Normally only one parent can come with the child, and sometimes no one can, so we want to provide a space where parents can bring the whole family and they don’t have to be in some little cubicle. Now we have a space that doesn’t feel like a hospital. I get chills because I say this all the time: Things we haven’t even thought about doing, we’re going to do, and we’re going to make a difference. We’re going to make a difficult time a little bit easier.”
Hostetler says this incredible space was a team effort. His playbook included reaching out to several other legacy Mountaineer athletes, like Jerry West, Marc Bulger, Jedd Gyorko, J.T. Thomas, and his son, J.T. Thomas III. “This floor wasn’t supposed to be here—it’s like a $30 million addition to add a floor. It’s here because of the first five guys I called asking them to give $100,000 each. I was able to get a commitment to raise over $2 million. But it started out with five guys who first stepped up,” says Hostetler. “It takes teamwork to make a difference for our kids.”