The first Ronald McDonald House in Fayetteville is expected to open before Christmas.
The 5,600-square-foot house is on the top floor of Washington Regional Medical Center’s new Women and Infants Center tower, allowing families to stay closer their children in the hospital. On Nov. 14, the five-story, 132,800-square-foot patient tower opened after the hospital completed the $60 million project.
The hospital provided the space for the house, while Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma completed the build out for the house, said Gina Maddox, marketing and public relation manager for Washington Regional Medical Systems.
The $1 million house is expected to serve about 1,500 families annually and has six bedroom suites with a playroom, dining room, kitchen, fully stocked pantry, laundry room and living room. The house will be available daily at no cost to those who receive its services, according to a news release.
“Through our current programs, families tell us they feel they will miss out on a critical doctor visit if they leave the hospital,” Stephanie Medford, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, said in the release. “But with the Ronald McDonald House, they will never have to feel like they’ve abandoned their child.”
The house is one of four programs operated by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, founded in 1999 as the local chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Other programs include a 3,600-square-foot, four-bedroom Family Room on the third floor of Mercy Hospital in Rogers and a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom Family Room on the fourth floor of Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.
The difference between a ‘house’ and a ‘family room’ designation is based on the number of bedrooms.
The house has raised more than $910,000 toward its $1 million capital campaign goal. The plan is to reach the goal before March in order to meet the requirements for the $200,000 challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation.
A grand opening celebration for the Ronald McDonald House is set for Dec. 15.