RMHC-CNI Awarded Remarkable Impact Grant for Work with Postpartum Mothers

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana is pleased to be a recipient of the AbbVie Remarkable Impact Grant in the category “Addressing the Needs of Unique Populations.” For this grant, the Charity will partner with The Family Institute at Northwestern University to offer postpartum support groups and counseling services to postpartum mothers of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Chapter staff will also receive skills-based training to better equip them on supporting the unique needs of these guest families.

“We are always looking for new ways in which we can support families during the stressful time of a child’s hospitalization” said Lisa Mitchell, Vice President, Programs and Services. “Through this partnership with The Family Institute, we are able to offer services that we never have before.  The ability for moms of newborn babies with complicated medical situations to come together in this way will bring untold benefits.  We are grateful for the opportunity to make this new method of care possible.”

“The Family Institute is proud to launch this powerful partnership with RMHC-CNI,” added Jana Jones, President and CEO of The Family Institute at Northwestern University. “Each organization is bringing its unique expertise to the collaboration to best support families during a challenging time. We commend RMHC-CNI for recognizing that families need support for their mental health as much as their physical health. Being a caretaker can bring stress and an avalanche of emotions. Giving RMHC-CNI staff and mothers with babies in the intensive care unit the mental health skills and needed emotional support will lead to better long-term outcomes both physical and mental.”

In August of 2018, AbbVie announced an unprecedented donation of $100 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to further allow the Charity to provide a welcoming place for families to stay along with the critical services they need across 32 Ronald McDonald Houses around the country.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) recently announced the winning Chapter recipients of the 2019 RMHC Remarkable Impact Grants.  Thanks to the generosity of AbbVie, 29 RMHC Chapters in the United States will receive funding to enhance their depth of support and services through new or expanded family-centered initiatives for guest families.

In 2018, the 182 Ronald McDonald House programs in the United States provided more than a million overnight stays for families with children receiving medical treatment – saving families more than $550 million in food and lodging costs. The 2019 RMHC Remarkable Impact Grants will build upon these initiatives by implementing innovative new ways to address the unmet needs of the children and families we serve, focusing on the following categories:

  • Wellness and Nutrition: Providing nutritious meals to families; programming to encourage healthy eating habits, exercise and overall self care.
  • Child Enrichment: In-House classrooms and educational offerings for children to help build their self-esteem and ensure they remain academically engaged.
  • Addressing the Needs of Unique Populations: Reaching new populations of guest families with support and services, including families with children in the autism spectrum or behavioral and/or mental health diseases.
  • Family Support: Providing family-centered spaces where parents can work, learn more about their child’s diagnosis and take part in educational and recreational activities.
  • Before and After the Ronald McDonald House Experience: Chapter programs providing continued support and resources to enhance a guest family’s return home and adjustment to a new normal once they leave the Ronald McDonald House.

“RMHC recognizes the unique needs of the families we serve,” said Sheila Musolino, president and CEO, RMHC. “We are grateful to our tremendous partners at AbbVie for making the Remarkable Impact Grants program a reality – and enabling our Chapters to lead the way in providing family-centered services and support at a time when families need it most.”

Critical to the success of the Remarkable Impact Grants program is the element of community engagement.    From outreach to local businesses, hospitals,  and colleges in the development of materials and sharing their resources, time and talent, to new opportunities for volunteers participating in meal programs and providing education on healthy eating and holistic wellness.

“As a company that is committed to supporting families and strengthening our communities, we are proud to partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities in support of the 2019 RMHC Remarkable Impact Grants,” said Laura Schumacher, vice chairman, external affairs and chief legal officer, AbbVie. “We thank RMHC for adding these meaningful programs to the resources they provide to help families thrive during and after a child’s treatment.”

In August of 2018, AbbVie gifted RMHC with a historic donation of $100 million.  This contribution, the largest single donation in both AbbVie and RMHC history, continues to provide essential support such as housing, meals and education for hospitalized children and their families across the United States. As part of this donation, $2 million over the next two years has been allotted to support the RMHC Remarkable Impact Grants program.