June 29, 2012

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Ronald McDonald House Charities Announces Plan to Expand Facility

Press Release

June 29, 2012

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area (RMHC) announced plans for an $11 million expansion including a new Ronald McDonald House at approximately 900 E. and South Temple, and a renovation of its current House adjacent to the new facility at 935 E. South Temple, as well as a new Ronald McDonald Family Room at Primary Children’s Medical Center. The development will allow RMHC to serve nearly three times the number of families with seriously ill and injured children receiving treatment at area hospitals.

To date, RMHC has raised about $8.5 million toward the project through generous donations from various individuals, foundations and corporations. The goal is to raise $11 million for the expansion.

“We deeply appreciate the overwhelming community support we’ve received for this expansion project,” said Thomas D. Dee III, capital campaign co-chair for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area. “We have great faith that our generous community will continue to help us complete our fundraising efforts and begin construction.”

The newly expanded Ronald McDonald House on South Temple will see RMHC grow from 19,645 to 57,608 square feet. Additionally, 46 new rooms and 208 beds will be added to the house, bringing the total number of rooms to 71 with a 323 individual bed capacity.

Other amenities include indoor and outdoor play areas for young children, a game room for teens and adults, fitness center, family theater, meditation room, gathering spaces on every floor, outdoor courtyard and a large and updated kitchen.

Once the project is complete, RMHC can accommodate an additional 46 families a night. Each year, this home-away-from-home serves more than 1,500 children undergoing serious medical treatment, their parents, siblings and direct caregivers. Families that use the House are either Utah residents who live more than 35 miles from the hospital their child is being treated at or are from neighboring states.

The new Ronald McDonald Family Room will be a home-like respite for patient families at Primary Children’s. Parents with a seriously ill child will be able to get some needed rest in one of the four new resting rooms, take a moment to shower, do a load of laundry, eat a snack, send an email or fax - all within a “home-away-from home” just seconds away from their child’s bed side. While our Ronald McDonald Houses serve hundreds of families referred from Primary Children’s each year, the new family room will also allow us to serve Salt Lake County families who do not stay at our Houses as well as families from rural areas and surrounding states receiving outpatient or inpatient care.

“We provide a service that is completely unique,” said Carrie Romano, RMHC executive director of the Intermountain Area. “A roof over their head is one less thing the parent of a seriously ill or injured child needs to worry about. By taking care of their housing we enable them to dedicate more time and attention to their child.”

An expansion to the current RMHC facilities has become necessary to support the changing needs of pediatric patients and their families. With at least two partner hospitals pursuing significant development plans of their own, and a growing trend toward early discharge to outpatient care, there was a vital need and an extraordinary opportunity to expand the capacity and quality of RMHC’s Salt Lake City facilities.

In 2011, the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City served 1,574 families. Even with that impressive figure, it still had to turn away 522 families due to lack of space. Additionally, the average stay for a family at the Ronald McDonald House has doubled from three days to six in the past five years due to a growing trend toward early discharge to outpatient care in local hospitals. The longest stay in 2011 was 233 nights.

For more information, visit http://www.housethatlovebuilt.org/">www.housethatlovebuilt.org or call 801-363-4663.

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