Eastern Iowa's First Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's

For more than 30 years, families of critically ill newborns, infants and children have trusted UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital. St. Luke's and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois decided to partner and create Eastern Iowa's first Ronald McDonald Family Room at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital. This program helps to provide extraordinary care for families by providing them with comfortable respite areas. These areas provide families a place to recharge and rest while also keeping a family together during one of the most difficult times of their lives. 

The Family Room is located on the second floor of the Helen G. Nassif Center for Women's and Children's Health. Families with children receiving treatment in either the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Pediatric unit may  utilize a nearly 1150 square foot Ronald McDonald Family Room.

The facility includes:
  • three sleeping rooms
  • two shower suites
  • laundry
  • kitchen, dining and a living area.
Other amenities include a family meal program and a coffee and cookie cart. The common areas are available to families' 24-hours a day, while the Ronald McDonald Family Room will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's Hospital FAQ

A Ronald McDonald Family Room is an area set aside inside a medical facility serving pediatric patients intended to serve as a quiet rest area for family members of children admitted to the hospital for treatment. It is intended to be a "home away from home" when a parent needs a break from the "hospital environment." Here are the answers to some of the more common questions people have been asking about the new Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's Hospital.

What is the benefit of a Ronald McDonald Family Room?

When a child is critically ill, parents are reluctant to leave the hospital, yet they desperately need a break from the ongoing stress of beeping monitors and busy intensive care units. A Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a special place of respite, relaxation and privacy within hospital walls. It provides a small oasis of calm and normalcy within the tense, chaotic, medical setting - yet parents are just steps from their child's bedside.

What is the Family Room like?

This Ronald McDonald Family Room will has a common areas that will have a kitchen, dining space, computer space, family space, fireplace, and television. It also  three sleeping rooms for naps and overnight stays, as well as two shower suites, and laundry.

 Who can stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Room?

A Ronald McDonald Family Room can serve dual roles. Families from farther distances often welcome the opportunity to grab a quick snack or close their eyes without leaving the hospital. The Family Room also serves local families who may live nearby, but do not want to leave the hospital for a meal or a shower. The Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's Hospital will focus on families of NICU and Pediatric patients. Families from anywhere in the world are eligible to stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's Hospital or the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City.

How is the Ronald McDonald Family Room connected to the Ronald McDonald House Charities?

 Founded in 1985, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois (RMHC-EIWI) creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. RMHC-EIWI provides care and comfort to children and their families by supporting the 31-room "home away from home" Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City. Additional programs include a Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids, and Ronald McDonald Food Pantries at University of Iowa Children's Hospital. RMHC-EIWI also supports not-for-profit children's programs and students making a difference in eastern Iowa and western Illinois through its grants and scholarships program. Learn more at http://rmhc-eiwi.org/donate-online/.

How can I help?

Individuals and businesses can help support this new program by giving operational support. A volunteer program will be instrumental in helping provide services.

To give operational support, contact:
Heather Wilson: hwilson@rmhc-eiwi.org (319) 384-5852

If you are interested in volunteering, contact:
Jenny Bosking: jbosking@rmhc-eiwi.org (319) 369-5192