Kissito 1884 House

Kissito Healthcare is a Non-Profit organization involved with many socioeconomic issues in our community. Kissito’s experience with servicing the elderly has led to the creation of the Kissito 1884 House. Kissito saw this house as a window of opportunity that could provide affordable housing as an alternative to nursing homes. Within this community-based home, residents will be able to keep their independence, yet participate in activities with other members. The Kissito 1884 House is located at 301 Gilmer Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016. This central site is only five minutes away from downtown (driving), with great local attractions such as museums, restaurants, the farmers’ market, etc.

The Kissito 1884 House was acquired in challenging conditions. Kissito completed renovations (including new appliances) to make the building more livable and home-felt for the elderly. With a window of opportunity having been opened, the opportunities are endless. Through this project, we are hoping to also create more involvement in the neighborhood, as well as aid from other organizations for the development of new amenities.

The residents of the neighborhood are hard-working, proud, warm, and caring people who will embrace and welcome the elderly community at the Kissito 1884 House.

1884 House New Kitchen

The pictures to the right show some of the renovations that JMS Builders has done to the building. The house will host 16 people of 65 years of age or older, that do not wish to enter a nursing home. Each apartment has two bedrooms in which 2 individuals will be paired up (unless they already have someone with whom they would like to share the apartment). This will allow them both to split water and electric bills. Other bills such as phone, cable, and internet will have to be discussed between the residents of the unit. The cost per bedroom is $345 per month. We are excited to see all the renovations coming to an end, and getting closer to the big opening. We are now accepting applications.


Findings from the Uganda research team

Photo by: April ParsonsLaura Fisher, with translation help from Uthman, surveys a patient at a health center.

Photo by: April Parsons
Laura Fisher, with translation help from Uthman, surveys a patient at a health center.

“We really should be working in all 69 of these health centers,” said Kissito President Tom Clarke one night, during a casual conversation at the Ugandan volunteer house. It was a simple statement that brought about one of the biggest tasks the KHI research team has ever taken on.

We knew they needed the help, and we knew we had help to give, but what were the specifics? That is what our key researchers Laura Fisher, and Doug Dasilva, have set out to find. Instead of just giving out goodie bags of gauze and gloves, or placing incubators in random facilities, the research team will be going into all 69 facilities in the Mbale, Manafwa and Baduda districts to find out what each facility needs; everything from the types of drugs, and supplies, to water and electricity, and to possible improvements on staff and patient satisfaction.

After a lot of hard work, literature reviews, and discussions with doctors they created a three-tier comprehensive study. The first part is a massive survey, 747 questions to be exact, that asks about every single drug, supply or piece of equipment that a health center would have. The second is health worker surveys, which get both qualitative and quantitative data; how often to they work, what do they need to better perform their job etc. The third is patient satisfaction surveys. They ask the patients about their experience at the health center; whether they knew what their diagnosis was, or when to take their medicine.


It’s been about two months and the research team is not even half way done with the baseline. Most facilities take anywhere from one to two hours to get to, and you could never complete the surveys at more than two health centers in a day (and that doesn’t include the document organizing or data entry!).

So far they have completed the entire Baduda district, and half of the Manafwa district. Although they have a long way to go, some of the statistics they have found already are quite surprising, and really tell a tale of just how much work we have cut out for us.

Data below is from 25 facilities – 4 Hospitals/Health center 4s, 11 health center 3s, and 10 health center 2s:

12% have running water from the city.

Only 60% have a functioning water tank.

That means 40% percent of facilities do not have water.

80% of facilities do not have electricity.

40% do not have nutrition patient education services

20% do not have a thermometer.

12% do not have a stethoscope.

76% do not have a measuring tape for height.

And only 24% of health facilities have access to an ambulance.

This is just the beginning of their assessment. They hope to have the surveys completed by the end of April and will then be able to give completely accurate statistics for the eastern region of Uganda.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog! And make sure to stay up-to-date with the research team, as well as the rest of our volunteers on Facebook and Twitter!.

70 million elderly by 2030…NY Times excerpt

With a nudge from the new health care law and pressure from Medicare, hospitals, doctors and nurses are struggling to prepare for explosive growth in the numbers of high-risk elderly patients. More than 40 percent of adult patients in acute care hospital beds are 65 or older. Seventy million Americans will have turned 65 by 2030. They include the 85-and-older cohort, the nation’s fastest-growing age group. The New York Times Milt Freudenheim sums it up best. Click here for the whole story.