We offer two Family Rooms in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: one in the Oncology Unit and one in the Cardiac Unit.
Families with hospitalized children spend day after day at their child’s bedside, offering comfort and trying to make a very scary time a little less frightening. Children with cancer and serious heart conditions often spend weeks or even months at a time in the hospital during their treatment, while their parents, grandparents, and other caregivers stay right by their side—making sure they never feel alone despite being far from home.
Our two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms extend the support of our two Ronald McDonald Houses into the hospital by offering a quiet, comfortable respite place for families to rest and regroup during their child’s treatment—helping them to reduce stress and focus on their own health and well-being while they take care of their child. These welcoming hospitality lounges, located on the Oncology and Cardiac Units of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, are designed to help families forget they are in a hospital setting, even though they are just steps from their child’s bed. This is especially important for families on the Oncology and Cardiac Units because their children often experience especially long hospital stays due to the severity of their illnesses.
The Family Rooms offer a range of complimentary amenities and programming in a warm, home-like environment. A central pillar of these services is our meal program which, thanks to the generosity of our donors, provides families with breakfast and dinner at scheduled times throughout the week at the family-style dining tables located in both rooms. Snacks, coffee, and tea are also available to families through the program. By providing regularly-scheduled hot meals and other ongoing refreshments, the meal program helps families sustain their energy, save money, and meet other families who understand what they are going through.
Other amenities include comfortable seating, kitchen facilities, televisions, DVD players (with an assortment of movies), books, and magazines. The Oncology Family Room also offers laundry facilities and a guest bathroom and the Cardiac Family Room offers a computer lounge. Programming in both rooms includes complimentary haircuts, yoga instruction, stress management workshops, art therapy, crafts, and a variety of other activities Both rooms are open for families 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays. Together, the two Family Rooms serve a combined total of 98 patient rooms each day.
Our two Family Rooms serve families traveling from both near and far. Families coming from 25 miles away or further and staying at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House in the evening are able to take a break in the rooms during the day, and families residing closer than 25 miles or who do not wish to leave their child’s side due to age or severity of illness can utilize the rooms as much as needed. Each year, approximately one-third of families who utilize the Family Rooms live too close to be eligible to stay at our two Houses, illustrating what an important resource the Family Rooms are for those families.
Volunteers trained by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia staff the Family Rooms. The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House Family Room Coordinator oversees and coordinates services, volunteer staffing, supplies, donor support, and programming, working together with the House and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia staff to provide support to families.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, contact Karen Kelly-Nickens.