New partnership between Rochester General Hospital, Ronald McDonald House

A new lounge is the first step in what Rochester General Hospital and The Ronald McDonald House say will be a lengthy partnership (WHAM photo)

It's not a medicine or the latest medical procedure, but something brand new at Rochester General Hospital that will help families with sick babies.

Next week, the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester will open its first lounge at RGH.

The cozy sitting room is just off the Special Care Nursery on the hospital’s third floor. While it may not be a big space, it represents a huge step. The lounge, sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House, is a first for both it and the hospital.

“I think that it's important that Ronald McDonald House is present anywhere children are receiving care. That's something that we’re going to continue to evaluate in the coming months and years: How can we support families as they move through the healthcare continuum, regardless of where they’re getting their services," said Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Kelly McCormick-Sullivan.

Half of all babies in our area are born at Rochester General Hospital.

The Golisano Children's Hospital has partnered with the Ronald McDonald house for 27 years. Once RGH found enough space, this new partnership began. “It’s helpful to show the patients that we care for them. We’re caring for the patients, but we’re caring for the families, too, and so the parents can better care for their children. Just get a little respite, get a coffee, sit down for a minute and get a little rest. I think that’s important for patient satisfaction," says Dr. Cynthia Christy, Associate Chief of Pediatrics at RGH.

Zachariah Adams spent the first 9 days of his life at RGH, and his bedside became a second home to his mother, April. She says the new lounge will help families. Adams says, “It’s really important to be relaxed for the baby, and not bring your anxious energy here."

The Ronald McDonald House and RGH say the new lounge is just the beginning. In three years, the hospital will open its first NICU.

Both will have an even bigger space to help families like the Adams begin in the best possible way.

The grand opening for the new lounge sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House is Tuesday.

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