OHSU Support Spurs Completion of Ronald McDonald House® Renovations

11/17/09  Portland, Ore.

Thanks to a strong partnership and financial support from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and Southwest Washington (RMHC®) will finish major renovations this week on the Ronald McDonald House West next to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Work on the house has been ongoing for almost six months, which culminated in a temporary, two-week closure that began on Monday, Nov. 9. The house re-opens this Friday, Nov. 20. Families affected by the closure have been able to stay at Portland's Ronald McDonald House East near Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, and at nearby hotels, including the Double Tree Lloyd Center, which provided reduced rates and shuttle service.

The temporary closure was necessitated by extensive work on all 16 guest rooms at the house, including major upgrades to closets and bath facilities. Additionally, new countertops and cabinets have been installed in the communal kitchen where meals are prepared and new carpet installed on the main floor. Other less-invasive work was completed earlier in the year. 

"We really protect the safe, peaceful environment that we provide families when they stay at the Ronald McDonald House," said West House Manager Diana Copeland. "We decided it would be too much disruption to have guests stay here while these last improvements were completed."

The recent renovations on the West House cost $133,000. Especially in the current economic climate, the partnership between RMHC and OHSU has been crucial in moving the project forward. Much of the work on the house has been facilitated or performed by OHSU Facilities staff, while the cost for the upgrades has been shared between the two organizations.

"It's a great example of how organizations can support each other, even during difficult times, to achieve a common goal," said RMCH's Executive Director Tom Soma. "Without OHSU's involvement, this project could not happen. We both want what is best for families and we really appreciate their enthusiastic support!"

Opened in 1984, the Ronald McDonald House West was the first RMHC facility in Portland. In the years since, it has been a home away from home for sick children and their families who travel to Portland to receive treatment. Last year, the West House hosted 720 family visits, with the average visit lasting seven days. During their stay, families have their own room, and can meet other families going through similar experiences in the communal kitchen and shared living areas.

"We are dedicated to ensuring the best possible care for our patients and their families," said Scott Turner, administrator, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. "Ronald McDonald House is a crucial hospital resource, especially for families from outside of Portland. We want them to have a home away from home, even in the most difficult circumstances."

*Images and tours of the renovation work are available by request.

About RMHC

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and SW Washington provides a "home away from home for families and their seriously ill children who travel far to receive treatment at Portland area hospitals, and awards grants to non-profit organizations that offer children's immunizations and dental care. For more information on Portland's Houses, visit www.rmhcoregon.org.

About OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital

OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is a world-class facility that each year cares for tens of thousands of children from Oregon, southwest Washington and around the nation, including national and international referrals for specialty care. Children have access to a full range of pediatric care, not just treatments for serious illness or injury, resulting in more than 120,000 outpatient visits, discharges, surgeries and pediatric transports annually.