Hotel Stay Program Served VUMC Well During First Year of COVID-19

VUMC’s popular hotel stay program was launched in the spring of 2020 to offer Vanderbilt employees working with or near patients a temporary housing option near the Medical Center’s main campus. After nearly a year of serving the Vanderbilt community, the program ended on March 31, 2021, as all VUMC employees were offered the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Staying in one of these rooms helped employees to avoid long commutes, worked to minimize potential spread of COVID-19 to employees’ family members (or other individuals with whom they share a residence), and gave them a nearby place to recharge. The rooms were located within walking distance of the main campus and offered at a low co-pay per night for eligible employees.

Since the program’s inception, about 800 employees, most of them “repeat customers,” made nearly 2,900 reservations. These reservations represented approximately 19,000 individual hotel nights and an average stay of almost a week.

One employee who took advantage of the program was Michelle Corbin, a nurse who works in the Vanderbilt Belle Meade walk-in clinic. “I live three hours away, so the hotel stay program helped me work a steadier schedule that was uninterrupted during the pandemic,” said Corbin. “It helped me provide for my family during such a trying time by providing an affordable, safe place to stay.”

Behind the program was a small team representing multiple departments from all over the Medical Center. They were responsible for working with the hotel, managing the program, and helping their fellow employees navigate booking a room.

Associate Chief of Staff John Morris, MD, explained, “We wouldn’t have been able to continue the program without the work of a very dedicated team who made the reservation process easy for our employees.”