Ontario's first Ronald McDonald Family Room(R) opens in Hamilton

    - Families will experience the love, support and comforts of a Ronald
    McDonald House(R) at McMaster Children's Hospital -

    HAMILTON, ON, June 16 /CNW/ - The door to Ontario's first Ronald McDonald
Family Room officially swung open today, at McMaster Children's Hospital in
Hamilton, Ontario. Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) of Canada,
Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House(R) and McMaster Children's Hospital
collaborated to develop the Ronald McDonald Family Room of Hamilton, providing
families with a quiet retreat within the walls of the hospital, where they can
unwind and recharge, while staying just steps away from their child's bed.
    "Much like a Ronald McDonald House, a Ronald McDonald Family Room
provides a comfortable place where families can take the time to relax and
re-group with loved ones," explained Shelagh Barrett, Executive Director,
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada. "We are excited to reach beyond the
walls of Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House to McMaster Children's Hospital, and
offer support to even more families from the Hamilton area and across
Southwestern Ontario."
    The Ronald McDonald Family Room of Hamilton includes a shared kitchen,
dining area, semi-private lounge areas, computer station and laundry
facilities. Family members of patients being treated at the hospital are
invited to use the Ronald McDonald Family Room during the day and benefit from
the comforts of home offered in the room. A full-time Ronald McDonald Family
Room Manager and volunteers will provide support and on-site programming to
all families using the room including, refreshments, laundry and Internet
    "We jumped at the opportunity to build on our existing relationship with
Ronald McDonald House Charities and Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House because
it helps us reach our shared goal of providing the best and most compassionate
family-centered care, for our patients and their families," said Dr. Peter
Steer, President, McMaster Children's Hospital. "The Ronald McDonald Family
Room enhances our family-centered care by providing a place for families to
rest and refuel so that they have the energy required to support their
    The Ronald McDonald Family Room of Hamilton is the second Ronald McDonald
Family Room Program in Canada. The first Ronald McDonald Family Room opened at
the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia in January 2007.
    "The Ronald McDonald Family Room of Hamilton is the second of what we
hope will be many Ronald McDonald Family Room Programs across Canada," added
Barrett. "We are actively exploring opportunities to partner with a local
Ronald McDonald House and their local hospital, with the goal of helping even
more kids and supporting even more families across Canada."
    To learn more and find out how to support the Ronald McDonald Family Room
of Hamilton, please visit www.rmhhamilton.ca.

    About Ronald McDonald House Charities(R)
    Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Canada is a registered charity
that is dedicated to helping children with serious illnesses or disabilities,
and their families, lead happier and healthier lives. RMHC achieves this by
supporting each Canadian Ronald McDonald House(R), the Ronald McDonald Family
Room(R) Program, and by awarding grants to many other children's charities
across the country. Since its inception in 1982, RMHC Canada has awarded more
than $58 million in grants benefiting thousands of children and families in
more than 600 communities. For more information, visit www.rmhc.ca.

    About Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House
    Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House is located steps away from McMaster
Children's Hospital. Through the support of the local community and
volunteers, the Hamilton Ronald McDonald House provides a compassionate and
safe "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children who are
receiving treatment at the hospital. The 15 room house which opened in 1993,
is an independently owned and operated non-profit organization that relies on
the support of numerous organizations and individuals. For more information
about Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House, please visit www.rmhhamilton.ca.

    About McMaster Children's Hospital
    McMaster Children's Hospital (MCH) is one of the top pediatric academic
health sciences centres in the country. With 120 acute care beds, 40 pediatric
clinics and a full range of specialized inpatient services, MCH is home to one
of the country's most impressive Neonatal Intensive Care Units, a cutting-edge
Neurometabolic and Neuromuscular Clinic and a state-of-the-art endosuite for
performing minimally invasive surgery. Founded in 1988, MCH has rapidly become
a leader in pediatric evidence-based care, collaborative research and
innovative leading-edge education.
    MCH is one of the two busiest children's hospitals in Ontario offering
specialized care to more than 150,000 children each year from South Central
Ontario extending from Niagara to Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond. An integral
part of Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster Children's Hospital is a hospital
within a hospital. It is also home to the McMaster Child Health Research
Institute (MCHRI) led by McMaster Children's Hospital and McMaster
University's Department of Pediatrics in conjunction with many key research

For further information:

For further information: Valerie Mendonca, Golin Harris, (416) 642-7959,

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