LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When a family has a sick child in the hospital, it can be extremely stressful. That’s why the Ronald McDonald House is so important. It allows family members to stay close to the hospital. Now, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana will help even more families.
A $21 million expansion was announced on Thursday. It includes redeveloping the former Greater Louisville Medical Society Building as well as the current facilities which are in the building connected to it.
The additional rooms are needed because of the growth in the local pediatric medical community, including at Norton Children’s Hospital which is just two blocks away.
"This expansion from 36 guestrooms to 56 rooms should reduce, if not completely eliminate, those turned away so we’re going to be able to serve a thousand families or more additionally every year on top of what we are already serving,” Hal Hedley, Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana, said.
Hedley said over the past couple of years, they’ve had to turn families away over 500 times because they were operating at full capacity. The new rooms will be able to sleep up to six people, with two beds and a pull out couch. There will also be a bathroom inside every guestroom, plus closet space.
“A very comfortable place for a family to lay their head after a long day in the hospital,” Hedley said.
For families with children facing a long hospital stay, the Ronald McDonald House can be a lifesaver - with a suggested daily donation of just $20. More than that, connections are by using the facility.
”We offer meals fixed by volunteers and laundry facilities," Hedley said. “We also offer the ability for families staying with us to be with other families of seriously ill children and they form lifelong bonds and really support each other in a way that couldn’t happen in a hospital waiting room.”
The project will be funded in party by a $11.7 million gift from AbbVie. That’s part of a larger $100 million donation to fund 32 Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.
Work on the expansion begins in September and is expected to be complete by December 2019.