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Press Releases

Ronald McDonald House® New York and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of the First Ronald McDonald Family Room New York with Milestone of Having Served Over 1,000 Families and Caregivers

The nation's largest public health system is the only public hospital in the country and the only hospital in New York City – private or public – with a Ronald McDonald Family Room

Mar 27, 2018

Dr. Mitchell Katz, Dr. Ruth Browne, and Sheldon McLeod (center) are joined by other celebrants at the first year anniversary.
New York, NY

Today, Ronald McDonald House® New York celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Ronald McDonald Family Room New York at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in Brooklyn, NY, alongside the milestone of 1,000 families and caregivers having been served by the Family Room since its opening. It is the only Ronald McDonald House Family Room in the five boroughs of New York City. Dr. Mitchell Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals; Sheldon P. McLeod, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County; and Dr. Ruth Browne, Ronald McDonald House New York, President and CEO, joined together in celebration of this milestone.

In the past year, Ronald McDonald Family Room New York has provided service to over 1,000 family members and caregivers of pediatric inpatients within the NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County community. NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health system in the country, and the only public hospital in the country that has a Ronald McDonald Family Room.

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Hospital is truly honored to have this unique partnership with Ronald McDonald House, which provides temporary and much needed respite for the caregivers of our most vulnerable population – including our neonatal intensive care patients,” said Sheldon P. McLeod, hospital CEO. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to address the needs of our patients that are beyond the medical care we are privileged to provide.”

“The Ronald McDonald Family Room New York, built in conjunction with a two-year expansion project of the Ronald McDonald House New York headquarters to 95 rooms, bolsters our footprint in the New York City community and provides a seamless circle of support to meet the needs of vulnerable families,” said Dr. Ruth Browne, President & CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York. “It is also part of the broader national Ronald McDonald House Charities expansion strategy. And with Kings County being part of the largest public hospital system in New York – and the country – it was very important to us that we built our first family room in New York there.”

With this Family Room sanctuary, caregivers now have access to a comfortable space to rest and regroup right at the hospital – with snacks and refreshments, entertainment and laundry, steps away from their admitted child.

“My son was born prematurely, via cesarean birth, and unable to go home with me when I was discharged from the hospital,” said Varessa Ford-Smikle, a patient at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “The Ronald McDonald Family Room was a great resource during this difficult time. Throughout my son’s hospitalization, I arrived at the hospital at 8:00 a.m. daily to care for him, then went to the Family Room to rest and follow up with my husband. The room provided a great sense of comfort as it allowed me to be close to my son and actively participate in his care. The NICU team, nurses, and volunteers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County were outstanding. They nurtured my son to good health and provided exceptional emotional support. I am grateful for the kindness I experienced.”