RMHC-CNI ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH ALMOST HOME KIDS

World’s Largest Ronald McDonald House to Launch First-Ever Alliance to Serve Children Who Are Medically Fragile

Chicago, Ill., (June 1, 2011) – Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC®-CNI) has announced a partnership with Almost Home Kids (AHK™) that will provide a first-of-its-kind level of support for families of  children who are medically fragile.

 AHK will lease the sixth floor of what will be the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House to provide services for children after they are discharged from local area hospitals, and training to family members on their children’s care, enabling them to feel confident and competent for transitioning home. Children who stay at Almost Home Kids have complicated health care needs that usually require specialized technical care and medications.

 “The mission of RMHC-CNI is to keep families together,” said Doug Porter, CEO RMHC-CNI.  “By combining the care and services of Almost Home Kids with the new Ronald McDonald House, we can ensure families have the comfort of home and can learn how to safely care for their children after they leave the hospital, no matter where they are.”

 The Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s will be a home-away-from home for families with children being treated at nearby hospitals.  With 86 guestrooms and 14 stories of care and comfort, the new House will include a rooftop healing deck and a kitchen filled with home-cooked meals.  The House is currently under construction in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago with plans for a grand opening in September 2012.

 “We get calls from all over the country from families whose children  are ready to leave the hospital, yet their children’s medical needs are serious enough that the parents and caregivers need a place and sufficient time to adjust to medical equipment, special diets and medications that their children need to live,” said Debbie Grisko, Chief Executive Officer at AHK. “This innovative partnership demonstrates that Ronald McDonald House is a leader in supporting families.”

Like the existing AHK home-like setting in Naperville, AHK’s second location will provide services for children after they are discharged from the hospital, and allow AHK to help more children who are medically fragile. The Respite Care Program, which is complemented by the new Respite Transportation Program, also will be available at the new Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s.

For more information on RMHC-CNI and AHK partnership, please visit www.RonaldHouseChicago.org or www.almosthomekids.org.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana

In 2012, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will provide tens of thousands of families seeking vital care for their children access to the finest healthcare treatment available in a world class healthcare facility. To serve these families, Ronald McDonald House Charitiesof Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana will open a new Ronald McDonald House – the largest in the world.  For parents and families, this new House will be a place of care and comfort including 86 guest rooms, a rooftop healing retreat and a kitchen filled with home-cooked meals, all for a suggested donation of $10 per night.  Designed to be ‘home-away-from-home’, the House will be a welcome place for families to return after a long day at their child’s bedside, bond with other families dealing with similar situations and find support to be the best advocates and parents they can be for their children. Due to open in September 2012, this 14 story House built to LEED Certification (Silver) status, will also serve the families of children receiving treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

About Almost Home Kids

Almost Home Kids (AHK) is a non-profit that provides transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs,  training for the families and respite care. AHK medical professionals help children who are medically fragile and their care-givers make a safe transition from hospital to home. Three out of four families served at AHK live at or below the federal poverty level. AHK helps children who need short-term care avoid entering more costly facilities, thereby saving state and federal government an estimated $5 million in Medicaid expense each year. Founded in Naperville in 1999, AHK has served more than 650 children. Yet the need for transitional care for children who are medically fragile is growing. An estimated 6,000 Illinois children’s lives depend upon medical technology. For more information, visit www.almosthomekids.org.

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