Kootenai Health and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest (RMHC) announced today the opening of a Ronald McDonald Family Room inside the Kootenai Health Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Kootenai Health significantly expanded its NICU in 2016 to include 12 private NICU rooms. Two of these rooms can accommodate twins, so the unit can accommodate 14 babies. The addition of the new space and technology increased its classification to Level III, meaning it can treat babies born as early as 28 weeks gestation and babies weighing only 1000 grams. Parents with babies being treated in the NICU spend substantial amounts of time at the hospital and may experience considerable stress. That is why Kootenai Health reached out to Ronald McDonald House Charities about adding a Ronald McDonald Family Room within the unit.
“Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are designed to provide a place of rest and respite for families with hospitalized children. The idea is to create a space where families are able to step outside the hospital environment and take a chance to regroup, just steps away from their child’s bedside,” Mike Forness, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities, said.
The new room will feature a comfortable seating area, a TV with access to informational videos as well as regular programming through the “GetWell Network”, a kitchen with light snacks and beverages, individual locked storage for personal items, toys and books for siblings, and a private bathroom with shower.
Space for the room was provided by Kootenai Health, and RMHC funded the renovations, furnishings, and supplies. Garwood Elementary raised funds to create a children’s library, and local McDonald’s owners and operators will provide supplies for the space. RMHC will also fund the ongoing operation of the Family Room.
“We’re excited to have a designated space for families and visitors that is just a step away from the baby’s bedside,” said Anna Werner, NICU nurse manager. “It’s important for them to have a place to rest and find some peace during a time that’s often very stressful.”
The Ronald McDonald Family Room is now open.
Kootenai Health provides comprehensive medical services to patients in northern Idaho and the Inland Northwest. Its main campus is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and includes a 292-bed community-owned hospital. Kootenai Health is accredited by DNV. It also holds Magnet designation for nursing excellence, Level III Trauma Center designation, Level III NICU designation, and accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Kootenai is recognized as a center of excellence for total knee and hip replacement, as a top 50 cardiovascular hospital, a Gallup Great Workplace Award winner, an “A” rated facility for patient safety, and an “A” rated organization for financial strength by Standard and Poor’s. Kootenai Health is also a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
Kootenai is regionally known for its programs in cardiac care, orthopedics, oncology, women’s and children’s services and behavioral health. Kootenai Clinic is comprised of 193 physicians and advanced practitioners providing primary and specialty care in practice locations across the region. For more information, visit www.kh.org.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest provides temporary lodging, comfort , nd support for families with children accessing medical services in Spokane, and supports related efforts to improve children’s health in our region. RMHC serves families from a four-state region including central and eastern Washington, northern Idaho, northeastern Oregon and Montana through three core programs: The Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and two Ronald McDonald Care Mobile units, both located in Central Washington. For more information visit www.rmhcinlandnw.org.