02 Sep Kerry’s Corner: September 2020
With great excitement, I am so happy to announce that as of Tuesday, September 1st, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central and Northern Arizona is officially reinstated by the RMHC Global organization to once again welcome a limited number of families back into our three Valley Houses!
For those of you who have been following along, you will remember that, for the safety of our staff and guest families and with the direction from RMHC Global, we suspended accepting new families to the House in March. At that time, we continued to provide a “home-away-from-home” for families who were currently checked-in, a handful of whom continue to be with us six months later while their child receives treatment. We also worked with social workers, our hospital partners, and the RMHC Global organization to find creative ways to aid families, even with the new restrictions, by setting up stays at a local hotel and using our apartment accommodations to serve families safely.
This exciting reinstatement news is most certainly a step in the right direction, but it also comes with extreme caution. As we move forward, we plan to re-open in a phased approach, carefully monitoring the situation and adapting at the guidance from the CDC and our hospital partners.
Currently, in Phase 1 of the process, our House is open to a limited number of families. The Cambridge House continues to provide a home for four families who have been with us since before the suspension, with no additional guests added at this point. During this phase, the Roanoke House is permitted to accommodate up to seven families, while the Dobson House can accommodate up to two families. Both of these locations provide families with apartment spaces with access to private laundry facilities and kitchenettes.
In addition to limiting the number of families on campus, guests must also fall into the following categories:
- Families with Children in the NICU
- Referrals from Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Cambridge, Roanoke), Banner University Medical Center (Roanoke), St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Roanoke), or Banner Children’s at Desert (Dobson)
- Maternal Fetal Program/High Risk Pregnancies
- Families requesting a minimum stay of ONE WEEK or longer
- Families who need emergency accommodations
In order to identify those with the highest needs, all families are admitted to the House through referrals directly from their hospital social worker only.
For those families staying at the House, their safety continues to be our guiding light. In action, this requires all staff and guests to participate in health screenings each time they arrive at the House, while staff adhere to strict cleaning procedures multiple times a day.
As you can tell, we are being extremely vigilant in our approach to re-opening. Future phases will continue to increase our capacity, and eventually welcome back visitors and our incredible volunteers. We know that you are all eager to get back to serving families as much as we are!
While the exact timetable in which the next stages unfold is still unclear, we are so grateful for another sign of progress through this process. We are even more grateful for your encouragement every step of the way. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem to do justice to the outpouring of love we have received. Still, we send out a big THANK YOU for your understanding, for your compassion, and for your unwavering support through this difficult time.
Wishing you and your family continued health and happiness.
Chief Executive Officer