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