McDonald House Charities to renovate family room at St. Edward

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 76 views 

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma is supporting a $150,000 effort to renovate a 2,475-square-foot space to briefly house parents with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of St. Edward Mercy Medical Center.

St. Edward’s NICU is the only level three center in the area, meaning it covers 13 counties in a two-state area. When the NICU was created in 2007, neonatologist Dr. Victor Coloso wanted to provide a place for families of newborns to have a place to stay while their children are hospitalized.

“There are few things harder for the parent of a premature or ill infant to do than leave that child behind”, said Dr. Coloso, “We are always looking for better ways to accommodate these families.”

According to a statement from St. Edward, the room is designed to provide a “comforting place for parents of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to rest and relax during the day while a child is in admittance to the Medical Center.” The area will have four sleeping rooms for parents who live more than 30 miles from the hospital. All services will be at no cost to families with children admitted to the hospital.

"Bringing the Ronald McDonald House Charities to Fort Smith has been a major goal for me over the past few years and we are very excited to see it come to fruition with the opening of the Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center”, said Michael Hadley, Ronald McDonald Charities of Arkoma Board Member, “We feel fortunate to be able to provide a place of refuge with the comforts of home to families of hospitalized children. The Ronald McDonald Family Room will touch the lives of families not just here in Fort Smith, but across the entire region.”

The family room is one floor above the NICU, and construction is set to begin immediately.