Celebrating One Year of Changing Lives

Media Contact: Mary Colliver 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 20, 2010) − Today marks the first anniversary of the opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Since opening, the Family Room has provided respite for more than 19,000 guests.

Families of children in the critical-care units (NICU, PICU) are welcome to visit the Family Room just a few steps from their child’s bedside. The Family Room was made possible through leadership contributions from McDonald's of Central and Southeastern Kentucky, UK HealthCare and a start-up grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities Global.

Much like the Ronald McDonald House, the Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a home-like setting. Special attention is given to provide space for private conversation and quiet reflection in several comfortable seating areas. Complimentary snacks, McDonald’s coffee, personal entertainment devices and other amenities are offered.

“Parents of pediatric and neonatal intensive care patients have been very pleased with what the Family Room offers them, a place to visit with family and friends away from the intense ICU setting," said Sherry Holmes, director of children's services, Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Our families stay at the bedside but need a place to have a time to refresh themselves and to talk to friends and family away from their child.”

The popularity of the Family Room has resulted in more visitors than originally projected.

“Last January, we opened the Family Room expecting to serve approximately 10,000 visitors in our first year" said Sarah Warner, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass. "We have had nearly twice as many guests in the room to date. It has been a real eye-opener to the need this room meets.”

The Family Room is staffed entirely by well-trained volunteers who provide a welcoming atmosphere, a listening ear and a compassionate heart.

“Volunteers are essential to the success of the program and we are currently in need of volunteers willing to make a commitment to be trained and help fill open shifts each month,” Warner added.

Annette Slone, a recent guest of the Family Room, wrote the following message in her thank-you note: “When you are away from home the way we are, due to a baby being born under two pounds, you just don’t know what a smiling face and a tender voice can do.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) requests that residents of the Bluegrass and beyond celebrate the anniversary of the Family Room by asking themselves, "What is one thing can I do to help?” RMHC suggests volunteering, collecting in-kind items, and hosting fundraising projects to ensure future operation of the Family Room.

The Family Room is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

To find out more information about volunteering or to make a financial or in-kind donation, please email or call 859-368-8437. For more information visit Kentucky Children’s Hospital or call 859-257-1121

Page last updated: 2/5/2015 1:53:04 PM