Dream House Incorporates Barrier-Free Life for Omaha Family
Release Date: 06/20/2007

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Home to feature the latest in barrier-free amenities for the safety and convenience of the disabled, Project made possible by Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction

Street of Dreams home tour, July 14-29, 2007 at the Five Fountains Development
located at 18915 Boyle Circle in Elkhorn

OMAHA, Neb. — Kris and Brian Morrissey never imagined a newspaper clipping would lead them to discover their dream house some 1,500 miles away from where they were living. Brian’s job transferred the Morrissey’s to California for one year and as the family was looking to move back to Omaha—an article featuring the first barrier-free home at the 2007 Street of Dreams home tour—caught their attention. Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction partnered together on the house that is specially designed to accommodate the unique safety and mobility needs of persons with disabilities and the aging. For the Morrisseys, whose seven-year-old son, Will, has cerebral palsy, the house is a perfect fit.

“We wanted Curt Hofer to build our next home, not only because he is an excellent builder, but he has firsthand experience building an accessible house for his daughter who has cerebral palsy,” said Kris.

The public will be able to tour the home and learn about barrier-free living at the 2007 Street of Dreams at Five Fountains, July 14-29, 2007. The ranch-style home will showcase how the latest in barrier-free amenities can be integrated into today’s family home. The home features 4,300 square feet of finished living space along with the convenience of an elevator. But there will be the additional numerous barrier-free subtleties spread throughout the entire home. These amenities will include wider doorways for wheelchair access and larger, more spacious rooms with plenty of natural sunlight.

“This barrier-free home will offer simple, practical ways that anyone can incorporate into their home design or lifestyle, regardless of their age or level of mobility,” said Curt Hofer, president and CEO of Curt Hofer Construction. “But what I’m most excited about is the partnership with Alegent Health. The vision and cooperation of the non-profit, faith-based organization is a natural fit on this project. Alegent Health is committed to incorporating both architectural and human components into their hospital construction projects to embody the healing aspects of a home-like environment for optimal healing.”

Hofer and his family personally understand the challenges of creating a home-like environment that is also sensitive to mobility issues. Their 16-year-old daughter, Janae, was born with cerebral palsy. Curt Hofer Construction is one of Omaha’s premier builders and a cornerstone builder on the annual Street of Dreams Project sponsored by the Metro Omaha Builders Association. Also working with Alegent Health and Curt Hofer Construction on the project are Mobility Motoring, a division of Anderson Auto Group and First National Bank.

Alegent Health has recently announced multi-million dollar renovation projects at all five of its metro hospitals. The project, dubbed Generation Patient, incorporates a patient-centered approach to designing and renovating the hospitals to create a comfortable, home-like environment while meeting the diverse needs of the patients. Approximately $40,000 from the sale of the home will ultimately support other efforts to improve the quality of life for people with limited mobility in the greater Omaha community.
“The barrier-free home being featured at this year’s Street of Dreams is an excellent way to heighten the public’s awareness about the innovative ways we can create a barrier-free community—not only in our homes, but also in our health care facilities, in our public areas and even in our hearts,” said Alegent Health CEO Wayne Sensor. “We are honored to be partners with Curt Hofer Construction on this exciting project that will make huge strides in barrier-free living.”

An estimated 51.2 million Americans live with some level of disability, which means that roughly 18 percent of the population has unique safety and mobility needs at home, at work and throughout the community.

Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,200 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 8,500 employees. Alegent Health is making healthcare better with an exceptional commitment to quality and by providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person consistent with its faith-based mission. Alegent Health continues the health ministry begun by its sponsors, Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems, more than a hundred years ago. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation, home care and behavioral health.