A Message from Sally
Supporting Family-Centered Care*
As we are nearing the end of the first quarter of 2018, I reflect upon and continue to be amazed by the support from our local community. Day by day, we are working toward our vision of a world where families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care. Your support means we can keep growing and providing the family-centered care that is the foundation of Ronald McDonald House Charities around the world.
While family-centered care is said to have significant impact on psychosocial and clinical outcomes of hospitalized children and their families, recent research now supports the linkage between Ronald McDonald House Charity programs and partner hospital efforts. The study was the first of its kind to study the impact of Ronald McDonald Houses on seriously ill children and their families from the perspective of hospital administrators.
The survey results revealed very positive opinions regarding how Ronald McDonald Houses assist families in meeting a number of challenges. Many hospital leaders worldwide believe that their partnership with a Ronald McDonald House enhances the patient experience, improves quality of care, and reduces staff and economic burdens on the hospital associated with assisting patient families with affordable lodging and other accommodations.
What does it mean for us? There is a significant shift from solely providing for the biomedical and therapeutic needs to sick children to a more comprehensive approach that more strongly incorporates the children’s families. The Buffalo Ronald McDonald House is designed to support family-centered care and keep families close to their sick children while they are in hospitals to receive treatment. Our new guest suites located at the Buffalo House on West Ferry Street, will also provide more options for families with children with serious health care needs and unique medical requirements. Patients as well as family members will now be able to stay together in a home atmosphere, while still staying only minutes away from the hospital.
Our Family Lounge extends our trade-mark family-centered care and hospitality model into our neighborhood to our neighbors. Since opening on November 13, 2017 over 3,000 families have visited our Family Lounge and taken a moment to relax, recharge and have a snack while only steps away from their child’s hospital bed; helping them to reduce stress and focus on their own health and well-being while they take care of their child. At the same time, staying close allows parents and families to better communicate with their child’s medical team and improves adherence to complicated treatment plans.
Our Happy Wheels Cart takes our trade-mark family-centered care to the patient’s bedside as it travels through the pediatric hallways visiting families and patients of the new Oishei Children’s Hospital.
Designed as an outreach program of the Ronald McDonald Lounge, the Happy Wheels Cart allows volunteers to provide the comfort of a snack or beverage for families who have had a long day in the hospital or an activity for their inpatient little ones. This program furthers the vision of bringing comfort and care to families attending to seriously ill children.
Thank you for your support of Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY. Remember, our work never ends and your support means we can keep growing, providing, and continuing to support our families, keep them close together and enable our families to face the weight of illness together.
* Family-centered care (FCC) is a partnership approach to health care decision-making between the family and health care provider. FCC is considered the standard of pediatric health care by many clinical practices, hospitals, and health care groups.