20 Aug House Update Regarding COVID-19
August 11, 2020
For the first time since March, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHCCNAZ) began welcoming families back their three Valley locations beginning July 10th, 2020.
While nearly half of the families who were staying at one of the three Valley locations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have remained at the Houses while their children continued to receive medical care, this marks a step forward for the organization. “We are very excited to be able to welcome more families into the House right now,” RMHCCNAZ CEO Kerry Schulman said. “Pediatric illness doesn’t pause for a pandemic and so our mission of providing a place for their families to say together and close to the medical resources they need for their children can’t wait either. They need us now more than ever.”
To ensure the safety of guest families and staff, the House is limiting capacity and continuing to follow recommended cleaning and safety protocols.
With the limited capacity, RMHCCNAZ staff are working closely with hospital partners and social workers to identify the families with the greatest needs. These include patients with extended stays, many of which represent high-risk pregnancies, NICU patients, children receiving cancer treatment, and those awaiting transplants.
Families staying at the House reside in private apartments with access to food, laundry facilities and other support services that provide the comforts of home while their children are receiving critical pediatric care at Valley healthcare facilities.
While RMHCCNAZ was faced with the difficult reality of not being able to welcome new families into their Valley locations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization thought out-of-the-box to continue to move their mission forward.
With a grant from the Global organization, the local RMHCCNAZ chapter was able to provide temporary housing to 39 families at the Staybridge Suites while their children were hospitalized and receiving medical care. The added expense for lodging, for so many families, would have added to stress and overwhelming expenses of caring for a sick child. Kerry Schulman added, “We must continue to meet the needs of our families who call the House their ‘home-away-from-home,’ no matter what.”