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Grace is the house that hugs.

Our StoryOur Team

Small but Mighty Nonprofit Healthcare Hospitality House.

Grace House is an independent, faith-fueled nonprofit organizations that relies upon the community’s support to fulfill its mission. Grace eases access to healthcare for families, both patients and caregivers, addressing social determinants of housing, food, and transportation that can make the difference for a family’s receipt of good quality healthcare and a caregiver’s ability to participate in that care.

We believe patients do better when loved ones can be at the hospital bedside, actively participating in their caregiving. At Grace, families are given a private, ensuite room, nutritious food, and private transportation regardless of their ability to make a donation. That’s our promise.

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We support patients and their families by providing a haven and place of respite when receiving care at regional healthcare facilities.

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We help families receive healthcare or participate in their loved one’s care without boundaries.

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Grace is fueled by faith and the Golden Rule. We are rooted in compassion, empathy, fairness, justice, and equity. Whatever your faith, you have a place at Grace.


Medical crises can separate people from the support of their families. When they come to Grace, they often say “we felt like we were home…like we were family.”


Love breaks down barriers that might otherwise separate us and loving kindness encircles guests so they know they are not alone in their journey.


We exist to walk alongside each guest during their stay with Grace, humbly attuned to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Our Story

Grace House was founded by Cynthia Battista (Cindy), a lifelong resident of Western New York. In October 2013, Cindy’s colleague, Mike Celej, shared that his son had suffered traumatic injuries from a motorcycle crash in North Carolina. His family traveled from Western New York to Asheville, NC, where they were welcomed at a local healthcare hospitality house. Staying there brought peace and relief during a terrible time.

Meanwhile, for many years Cindy had felt inspired to answer a calling—to help people in her community with lodging. A ministry focused on hospitality. But she was looking for just the right project.

When Mike returned to work, he was animated as he described his experience at the guest house. After a long day at the hospital, his family could return to a clean and comfortable place to rest and share a meal. They would feel restored for whatever the next day might hold. Cindy immediately knew Mike’s story provided clarity on her calling and purpose, and she was called to action.

The very same night after hearing Mike’s story, Cindy started working to create a small healthcare hospitality house in her neighborhood for Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. On February 12, 2014, Grace Guest House was formed. “The name I chose was based upon the Grace of God, because I knew from the start that it was only through Him that this could happen.” With the support of family, friends, and the community, she was able to turn her vision into reality. In November 2017, Grace House opened its doors and welcomed its first families, and Grace House now serves 5+ regional hospitals.

Isn’t it amazing how the simple act of sharing a personal story can profoundly impact others? Check out our Stories page to hear about our guests’ experiences.

Read More Stories
Cindy Battista headshot

Our Team

Our Staff

Cynthia M. Battista

Founder and Executive Director
(716) 829-7209

Gianna Totaro

Associate Director
(716) 829-7207

Grace Collura

Administrative Coordinator
(716) 829-7240

Jim O’Connor

Operations Coordinator
(716) 829-7240 ext. 1

Board of Directors

Colleen Steffen, MPA

Board Chairperson
Director of Advancement
Trocaire College

Cynthia M. Battista

Ex Officio, President
Executive Director
Grace Guest House

Michele Pasnik-Vario

Vice Chairperson
Burden, Hafner & Hansen, LLC

Barbara J. Salvadore

Office Manager
CATCO Construction

Ann Grizanti

Hamburg Central School District

Marilynn DiCara, RN, BSN, CCM

Roswell Park

Donna Brown

Patient Experience Administrator
Erie County Medical Center Corporation

Charles G. Pressley, Esq.

Staff Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Erie County Medical Center Corporation

Debra Smith

Roswell Park

John Tammaro

National Fuel

Chandler Taylor

U.S. Department of State

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Thank you to our hospital & community partners.

Grace House
2315 Seneca Street
​Buffalo, NY  14210

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