Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAMS Groundbreaking
The new 2,000 square-foot space will be staffed and operated by RMHCA and will feature four overnight rooms for parents and siblings of patients in the NICU and a common area for day use by up to 64 NICU
The kick-off celebration, held in the UAMS Hospital Lobby Gallery, marks the beginning of a four-month renovation process by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas (RMHCA) that will convert the existing family space on the fifth floor of UAMS Medical Center into the Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAMS. The new 2,000 square-foot space will be staffed and operated by RMHCA and will feature four overnight rooms for parents and siblings of patients in the NICU and a common area for day use by up to 64 NICU families.
When completed, families of babies in the NICU will be able to remain present and involved throughout their baby's hospitalization. In addition to the overnight bedrooms, the facility will include a kitchen, dining and family area, and laundry.
"We are excited to partner with UAMS to open the first Ronald McDonald Family Room in central Arkansas," said RMHCA Board Chair Diana Smithson. "Through this collaboration, over 1,000 families with children in the UAMS NICU will be served each year, including families with siblings of babies in the hospital who were previously unable to spend the night at the hospital."
UAMS serves families from across Arkansas, and babies often stay in the NICU for weeks or months. The neonatal unit has 58 patient rooms and can serve up to 64 patients at a time.
"Over the past 10 years, we've seen the benefits of having parents present with their newborn babies," said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. "We are excited to partner with RMHCA to allow more families to stay here with their newborns and their older children. It's important that siblings learn to help care for their new brother or sister and feel comfortable around them."
Major donors include: Windgate Charitable Foundation, Susie and Charles Morgan, Clark Family Foundation Inc., RMHCA Board of Directors, Sunderland Foundation, local McDonald's owners, The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation, Nabholz Construction, Windstream, the Sunderland Foundation, RMHC Global, Jeanne Andrews, Arkansas Community Foundation and Alpha Delta Pi Foundation. To donate or for more information, contact Emily Piechocki, RMHCA Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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