The Children’s Hospital is scheduled to open in 2024.
The Ronald McDonald Family Room will provide families with essential resources, such as food and overnight rooms, while they remain near their hospitalized child.
“Both our staff and our board of directors firmly believe that the Ronald McDonald House should be within steps, not miles, of the Children’s Hospital,” said Terri Gray, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri. “… It is our goal to sell our current location, find a location that’s close to where they’re building the new Children’s Hospital and build a new house at that location.”
States also announced plans to build a new Ronald McDonald House location within walking distance of the hospital.
Leaders from the university, the university health care system and the state legislature assembled Friday to commemorate the groundbreaking of the Children’s Hospital, which is being built near Hitt and Lake streets on MU Health Care’s main hospital campus.
A new Ronald McDonald Family Room will be built at the hospital, said John States, president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri board of directors.
Gray said there are no details right now, but Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri is working with MU Health Care to identify a location where the new house can be built. The current building is located at 3501 Lansing Avenue.
“We serve families from all across the state, and 90% of the families we serve are families that are also served by MU Health Care,” Gray said, “so it’s important for us to have a presence in the hospital and to be located close by when families need us.”
Other speakers at the ceremony included: Jonathan Curtright, chief executive officer of MU Health Care; Keri Simon, chief hospital operations officer for MU Health Care; and MU President Mun Choi. Simon touched on what MU Health Care’s website calls “the intangibles of care— the non-clinical aspects shown to improve treatment results and well-being,” such as the design of the hospital lobby. Simon said the hospital will feature interactive spaces for kids to play and private rooms for families.
Thousands of children per year are expected to be treated at the new Children’s Hospital, Curtright said. “If you think about it, (those children) are your neighbors. They’re your grandchild. They’re your child. Those are the people we’re taking care of,” Curtright said.