The Ronald McDonald House in New York City, located at 405 E. 73rd St. on the Upper East Side, is celebrating its grand re-opening following a $23.6 million renovation.
The two-year expansion increases the number of rooms available to 95. The House provides temporary lodging for families in the area with children undergoing treatment for cancer. Families can stay for a suggested donation of $35 per night with donors covering the rest of the cost.
The House’s expansion has increased to its highest level ever the capacity to support even more families seeking pediatric cancer care – increasing to 95 families from between 30-35 during the two-year construction phase (and a high of 84 pre-renovation) – making it the largest and most diversified facility of its type in the world. Nearly 40 percent of the House’s families come from outside the U.S., representing 35 countries globally. With the growth, the Upper East Side facility will continue to provide a caring environment for children battling cancer and offer more comprehensive support services for their caregivers while keeping families from around the world close.
“We don’t do the research that will cure pediatric cancer; we don’t administer the treatments that our patients require. What we do is give children and their families from around the world access to those hospitals that are conducting leading research and access to the specialized treatments that they so desperately need,” said Tina Lundgren, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonald House New York.
The completed expansion allows the House to continue helping families worldwide stay close to their children while receiving care from its 16 partnership hospitals in New York City that have made tremendous strides in pediatric cancer treatment. The House serves as a critical partner link to the hospitals, allowing children access to this groundbreaking therapy.
“The expansion of our facility here is a cause for celebration for all New Yorkers,” said Ruth C. Browne, President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House New York. “We’re proud that we can offer a loving environment and specialized resources for even more patients and help keep families together during this incredibly challenging period of their lives. The commitment and support of our staff, Board, volunteers, many stakeholders and partners, and the New York community has been invaluable in getting us to this point as we re-open the expanded Ronald McDonald House New York.”
The state of the art advancements at the House include six new suites for families with children that recently received a transplant. These new rooms will meet the needs of children with recent bone-marrow transplants who must stay in relative isolation for up to three months following their treatment. On average, the new suites are between 70 – 90% larger than standard rooms. Additional upgrades to the House and other large-scale recent initiatives include:
- Eleven new family units, increasing capacity to 95 families
- A re-imagined and re-opened Blavatnik Family Foundation Wellness Center in a new rooftop atrium, focused on the health and wellness of our caregivers and patients
- The newly renovated and re-opened 2,100 square-foot Macy’s Living Room
- The expansion of the Ronald McDonald House Happy Wheels Coffee Cart program, which serves beverages and healthy snacks at no cost to pediatric cancer patients, caregivers, and staff at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Since its launch in 2015, the program has served more than 33,000 individuals
- A new Coffee Cart program is set to be launched next month at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
- The Ronald McDonald Family Room at New York City Health & Hospitals/Kings County. Launched earlier this year, the Kings County Family Room has already been utilized by more than 600 immediate caregivers of inpatient children with pediatric illness
- A spacious re-designed lobby to welcome new arrivals to the House from around the world
- Additional kitchen and dining areas at the House to bring the total number of kitchens to five
This expansion also marks a transition of leadership at the House as Tina Lundgren will step down from her current position as Chair of the Board of the House in October following her three-year term and hand the reins to Harris Diamond, Chairman & CEO at McCann Worldgroup. Lundgren, who will remain on the Board, has been a driving force for the House’s expansion and fundraising and will continue to be very involved in the House’s initiatives.
The redesigned facility is a passion project and was imagined by longtime supporters and House partners. The construction was completed by Structure Tone, Zubatkin served as owner representation, and Zaskorski & Associates was the architect.
The Ronald McDonald House was founded by McDonald’s Corporation in 1974. There are local chapters and houses in 64 countries around the world.