Edward to Open First Ronald McDonald Family Room in Illinois, Announces KidsCare Campaign for Renovation of Kids’ Critical Care Areas

January 26, 2011

Article about the opening of the new Family Room in Edward Hospital

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Jan. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Edward Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC®-CNI) have partnered to bring the first Ronald McDonald Family Room in Illinois to Edward Hospital.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110125/CG36290)

The Edward Foundation has also launched the public phase of its KidsCare Campaign to raise funds for a complete renovation of newborn and pediatric critical care areas, special procedure rooms, and construction and ongoing operation of the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Home away from home

The nearly 2,000-square foot Ronald McDonald Family Room will be a short walk from Edward’s Newborn Intensive Care (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) and offer parents a place to rest and regroup at the hospital.  It will open in early 2012 and provide a large living room with relaxation areas, a kitchen and an educational resource area with Internet access.  A playroom for patients and siblings, sleeping rooms and showers will also be available.

“We’re honored to partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities to offer this wonderful service,” says Pam Davis, President & CEO, Edward Hospital.  “The room will give parents a place to eat, rest and clean up without worrying about being away from their child for an extended period of time.”

“When one child in a family is ill, the entire family can be in crisis,” says Doug Porter, CEO, RMHC-CNI.  “This expansion of our programs with a Ronald McDonald Family Room in Edward Hospital is a wonderful opportunity to provide care, comfort and hospitality to hundreds more families in need.  Edward is a great partner and we look forward to working together to take care of children and families.”

The Gillespie family, whose Plainfield home is 10 miles from Edward, would have gladly welcomed the home-like conveniences of a Ronald McDonald Family Room when their son was treated for 10 months in Edward’s NICU.

Michael Gillespie was born with a “giant omphalocele” which means most of his internal organs were outside of his body.  He also had a heart defect and his lungs weren’t fully developed because he was born 10 weeks premature.  He had several close calls, was on life support for months and had several major surgeries.

Michael, now 2-1/2 years old, spent the first 299 days of his life in Edward’s NICU.  His parents, Keri and Greg, remember napping in chairs or even leaning up against a wall to get some rest and taking turns to rush home for a quick shower.

“One of us always wanted to be there, but eventually you have to sleep,” recalls Greg.

A leap forward in critical care for kids

The Edward Foundation’s KidsCare Campaign so far has raised $900,000 of its $1.5 million goal, including a significant donation from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

In addition to supporting the Ronald McDonald Family Room, the funds will be used to completely renovate the NICU, PICU and Pediatric Special Procedure Area which is used for diagnostic imaging, infant hearing, hematology/oncology and other testing and treatment.

Renovations are needed because demand has outgrown space.  Edward’s Level III NICU, meaning it can treat the sickest and most fragile newborns, is the largest in DuPage County and treated 400 babies last year.  In all, nearly 17,000 infants and children have been cared for in Edward’s Pediatric Units, including the NICU and PICU, over the last five years, facilities that weren’t designed to handle that many patients.

Chelle Arends, her family and son Coleson have recently spent a lot of time in the areas where Edward treats pediatric patients.  Coleson was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, just before his fourth birthday.  

Initially, treatments and doctors’ visits meant trips to a downtown Chicago hospital.  The long rides made Coleson car sick and exhausted.  But, since the spring of 2010, he’s been receiving treatments at Edward, just a ten-minute ride.

“Nobody knows better than families like us how important it is to have your child cared for close to home,” says Chelle.

Edward’s new NICU, PICU

Renovation of Edward’s NICU will result in 22 private rooms that will provide newborns and parents with space, comfort and privacy needed for treatment, consultation with doctors and nurses, and time alone for mom, dad and newborn.

“We can’t emphasize enough the importance of privacy, whether it’s to be joyful about a good outcome or grieve over a bad one.” says Bob Covert, MD, Medical Director, Edward NICU and neonatologist, DuPage Neonatology Associates.

All of the pediatric patient rooms undergoing renovation will be outfitted with high-tech equipment that will allow them to function as an intensive care room when necessary, meaning a sick child won’t have to be moved from one room and unit to another room and unit.

How to help

To support the KidsCare Campaign and for more information, visit www.edward.org/foundation or contact Meghan Moreno, Executive Director, Edward Foundation at mmoreno@edward.org or (630) 527-5956.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, visit www.ronaldhousechicago.org.

SOURCE Edward Hospital