OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — One year ago, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Kansas City opened a family room at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
The family room is concept which basically puts a smaller version of a Ronald McDonald House inside a hospital.
There are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room, a living room and full-size kitchen for families to use while they stay in the facility on the second floor of the hospital.
Since opening in February 2022, families spent 350 nights in the family room. Families can stay there free of charge when their child is in the hospital.
Doctors admitted Brittany Clayborn’s newborn son to Overland Park Regional Medical Center in January. He was in the neonatal intensive care unit for 15 days.
Clayborn’s family spent some of those nights living in the family room. She called the facility a blessing.
“There was one night he had a very rough night. Things kind of turned for the worse,” Clayborn said. “We were able to go up there, and didn’t have to worry about driving here in the middle of the night. We could just come out of our room, go to the elevator, go to the NICU and we were there.”
Clayborn’s son, Matthew, is healthy now.
Tami Greenberg, president and CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Kansas City, says the agency first launched this concept in the 1990s.
There are more than 250 family rooms across the world today. In Kansas City, the charity operates another family room at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
The agency relies on volunteers to make meals for families staying at the hospital and donations to pay for the operations. Learn how to get involved on the charity’s website.