December 11, 2015
Partnership creates a retreat within the hospital – and an early holiday present – for families with ill children
Families of seriously ill children at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital now have a much needed new resource to help them cope, thanks to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.
Two RMHC Toronto Family Rooms officially opened their doors today so parents can find a “home away from home” just steps away from where their sick child is being treated. Research shows that parents who stay close to their ill children are able to be more involved in their clinical decision making and care.
“The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Rouge Valley Centenary (RVC) are a core part of our mission to provide an environment that keeps families close so they can heal better together,” says Stephanie Karapita, Chief Executive Officer, RMHC Toronto.
“The rooms are comforting and relaxing spaces where parents can rest and recharge away from the clinical environment. We are delighted to be able to support more local families than ever before by partnering with the Rouge Valley Health System.”
Andrée Robichaud, President and CEO of Rouge Valley Health System, says, “We thank Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto for choosing to partner with us on this initiative for children and families. These two Family Rooms come to us at Rouge Valley as a gift to our community. This is a wonderful enhancement to our hospital – perfectly aligned with our focus on providing quality patient and family-centred care. We also thank our Rouge Valley Health System Foundation for helping nurture the partnership with RMHC Toronto.”
The two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms will support families with children in paediatrics and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at RVC. The NICU and paediatrics provide vital health care services to many families in the community. Last year, 436 babies were cared for in the NICU and 1,260 young patients in paediatrics. The paediatric program encompasses sickle cell care in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children, cancer services delivered in partnership with the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, an allergy and immunology clinic, a day surgery program and clinics, as well as modern birthing facilities at both of its hospital campuses.
The Family Room spaces are equipped with a lounge area and TV, a kitchenette stocked with beverages and snacks, and washrooms with shower facilities. A key feature of each Family Room is a private sleep room and a rest and respite area. Inspired by first-class airline lounges, the Rest and Respite areas include recliners in individual pods with custom-built privacy screens to allow parents and immediate caregivers to rest without distraction.
Since the Family Rooms at RVC first opened on December 1, there already have been close to 300 visits by 30 different families. The spaces are open and staffed every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the sleep rooms available 24 hours a day.
The two new Family Rooms are the fourth and fifth in RMHC Toronto’s growing network of Family Rooms across the GTA. Family Rooms have opened at The Hospital for Sick Children in 2014, at Markham Stouffville Hospital in 2013 and at The Credit Valley Hospital of the Trillium Health Partners in 2012.