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Ronald McDonald House Opens Second Springfield Location

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, or RMHC, is a non-profit organization which provides a home away from home for families with seriously ill children. The organization will celebrate the grand opening of its second Springfield location this week. KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser has more.

Bonnie Keller, president and CEO of RMHC of the Ozarks, says the idea for a location within a hospital came after the organization noticed a problem.

“Over the last several years we have really taken note of the fact that there are several families that have children in Mercy Children’s Hospital who are so seriously ill that they are not comfortable leaving the hospital to benefit from the services of the Ronald McDonald House.”

The new location, located on the sixth floor of Mercy Children’s Hospital, solves this problem by allowing families with sick children to take advantage of RMHC’s services without leaving the hospital. Keller says families can use the facility at any time of the day, even if they don’t want to stay there overnight. The new location has several common areas, including a living room, dining room, play room, and laundry center, as well as plenty of space for families to rest.

“We have ten bedrooms, and each has their own bathroom. And then we also have some public restrooms, one with a shower, and that will accommodate people that maybe don’t need the overnight accommodations but they’d like to take a shower, do their laundry, use our computers.”

Keller says Mercy serves children in a wide variety of medical areas, making it an ideal location.

“Mercy has a regional burn center, and that’s one of the primary areas, children receiving treatment in the burn center. Also, Mercy is one of six St. Jude affiliate clinics in the country.”

Along with these two areas, Mercy also has a pediatric intensive care unit and intensive care nursery. As we previously reported, Mercy is planning to relocate these two units to the sixth floor. Keller says the proposed space for the units is right next to the new RMHC location.

“That [relocation] in itself will just be such a tremendous benefit for families to be able to be right around the corner.”

The first RMHC location, located near Cox South, will remain open to serve families from both Cox and Mercy.

To celebrate the grand opening of the new location, a private ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Thursday afternoon. A public open house will be held Friday from 11:30 am until 4:30 pm. For more information, click here.

For KSMU news, I’m Melanie Foehrweiser. 

Anyone wishing to attend the public open house is asked to enter through the main lobby of the patient tower, where Mercy staff will be on hand to direct you further.