child.hospital

Ronald McDonald House opening at Cardon

The Valley of the Sun will be home to a third Ronald McDonald House, and the first in the East Valley, when a former health care facility on the campus of Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa is converted into a 10,255 square foot home-away-from home

The 248-bed Cardon Children’s Medical Center is operated by Banner Health. When the $2.116 million renovation, funded primarily through donations, is complete in late 2013, Ronald McDonald House Charities will be able to accommodate up to 89 families a night at its three facilities.

The original House is located at 501 E. Roanoke Ave.  A second House opened in 2008 on the campus of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The new facility will feature 16 bedrooms, including 3 apartments with kitchens for families with children with suppressed immune systems; a community kitchen and dining room; play area for children and outdoor area for adults.

Fundraising for the new location is ongoing.  As of Nov. 1, nearly $967,000 has been raised to support the project, including a generous $500,000 gift from the Gila River Indian Community.

Banner Health Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities are working to raise the remaining $1.15 million necessary to complete the building conversion. McDonald’s owner/operators in the Valley have committed to provide up to 75 percent of required operating expenses for the first three years.

As a nonprofit health care system, Banner Health relies on philanthropy. Charitable contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations fund important services and initiatives, such as the Ronald McDonald House, and helps Banner deliver excellent patient care to more people in more places.

“There has been a tremendous need for a House in the East Valley for quite some time,” says Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Nancy Roach.  “The convenience of being located on the campus of Cardon Children’s Medical Center means that families won’t have to travel the 17 miles each way to the Roanoke House and can spend more time with their children.”

HKS Architects of Phoenix has designed the new house.  UEB Builders is the general contractor.   Historically, community and school groups and organizations, businesses and individuals have adopted and decorated individual rooms. Roach said that the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization will hire up to ten new employees to manage and maintain the new House.

“The Ronald McDonald House at Cardon Children’s Medical Center will be a home away from home for our families, providing a level of safety and comfort at an incredibly difficult time in their lives and relieving stress by being with other families facing similar challenges,” said Cardon Children’s Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Anderson.  “The partnership between Ronald McDonald House and Cardon Children’s Medical Center will be vital in the healing process for the children and their families.”

A special ceremony at the site of the future House, and including a “blessing of the ground” by members of the Gila River Indian Community, is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14 on the Cardon Children’s Medical Center campus at Southern Ave. and Dobson Rd. in Mesa.  Additional events, including a Hard Hat tour and official ribbon cutting ceremony will be announced at a later date.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, visit www.rmhcphoenix.com.  For more information about Cardon Children’s Medical Center, visit www.bannerhealth.com/CardonChildrens.