Ronald McDonald House Celebrates 40th Anniversary With 40 Rooms


Friday, October 23rd 2020, 6:49 pm
By: Brian Mueller


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Wednesday was a banner day for the Ronald McDonald House in Oklahoma City. Their 4th floor expansion bumps the room count up to 40, appropriate since it's their 40th anniversary. 

"Anytime you're in a hospital, it's an anxious time. In a place like this you can come, and decompress, and you immediately feel that anxiety go down a bit,” said Jon Hayes, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital President. 

The Ronald McDonald House provides free lodging, meals and amenities for families whose children are in the hospital. 

The toughest part of the job is turning families away. 

"We would look at our numbers of families we had to turn away, and we knew we had to do something,” said Kendal Pinkston, Board Chair of RMHC-OKC. 

The addition features everything from a brand-new kitchen to a salon. 

The floor will provide 9,500 more night stays for families. 

 "We couldn't build enough rooms to never turn a family away, but to reduce it by 90% of the 2,200 times we did last year, is a huge step towards serving the families who need us and when they need us,” said RMHC-OKC President and CEO Susan Adams. 

Now all that's left is for families to check into the rooms. 

As we stand now, the percentage of positive cases needs to decrease for two weeks before that process begins. 

"We support a very vulnerable population. We have to be exceedingly cautious to make sure everyone here is as safe as possible,” said Adams. 

In the meantime, the Ronald McDonald House is focusing on training the staff for what they hope will be an intake process that starts later this year.