Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Capital Region (RMHC®-CR) has remained focused on fulfilling our core mission – helping families with sick children stay close to each other and the care and resources they need. Our highest priority is the health and well-being of the families we serve, the staff and volunteers who carry out our mission, and the Capital Region community in which we operate.
We have made significant changes to our program operations in order to prevent exposure and the spread of COVID-19:
- As required by RMHC® Global, we suspended new admissions to our Ronald McDonald House® in mid-March. Since then, we have been providing local hotel accommodations to allow families to stay together near the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med while their children receive critical care. In addition to hotel stays, RMHC-CR is also providing meals, meal gift cards and other resources to support families during this challenging time.
- In coordination with Albany Med, we initially limited and subsequently suspended our traditional respite and comfort services at the Ronald McDonald Family Room® in the children’s hospital. During this time, we have granted hospital personnel access to the Family Room for their own respite and comfort. With the help of Child Life Specialists at Albany Med, the RMHC-CR Hospitality Cart remains in service, making coffee, snacks, comfort items and other resources available to children, families and health care workers in both the Pediatric and Neonatal units of the hospital.
- In coordination with St. Peter’s Health Partners Dental Center, we suspended dental services provided by the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® until the area schools served by this program resume in-person operations.
In accordance with federal, state and local guidelines, and with support from RMHC® Global, we are now preparing a four-phase plan to safely and cautiously reinstate each of our core programs. There are many factors to be considered in this process, and we will continue to consult with medical experts and other trusted leaders as we determine our path forward. COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us. We must keep learning, evaluating and adapting as this situation evolves, always acting in the best interests of the children and families we serve.
The program reinstatement plan for RMHC-CR will include policies and procedures to ensure the safety and preparedness of our building, our supplies, our programs and our people. We will remain focused on the needs of children and families at every step. Even after we begin admitting families to the Ronald McDonald House again, we will likely continue to offer support for hotel stays based on individual family circumstances for some time. Please stay tuned as we share more information about our plans to re-open in the coming weeks.
We are very grateful to the RMHC-CR Board of Directors, our partners at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Med and St. Peter’s Health Partners Dental Center, and the many generous corporate partners and community members who are standing with us during this pandemic. Children are still facing serious illnesses every day. You are helping RMHC-CR support them and their families in creative, new ways, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Thank you for your continued support.