17 Mar An Update on Our Response to The Circumstances Surrounding COVID-19
Please check this space for the most up-to-date information about RMHC CTX’s response to COVID-19. Most recent update: 3/21/22
The entire team at RMHC CTX has been working tirelessly as the COVID-19 situation has evolved in Central Texas. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community and network as we work through our operations plan keeping our focus on the well-being of the families we serve (most of whom have children with compromised immune systems). As a member of our generous community of supporters, we would like to share the following updates about our community engagement:
- Meals from the Heart volunteer opportunities have returned and groups are able to prepare a meal onsite at the Ronald McDonald House. Groups of six or less can schedule a day to provide a meal by visiting our online calendar – click here. Please contact Andrew Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this volunteer opportunity.
- Individual volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and Happy Wheels Carts are invited to return to all program spaces. Please complete a volunteer application if you would like to get involved on a weekly basis.
- We welcome your support and need it more than ever! Our wish lists can be found here.
RMHC CTX has also made the following changes to our program operations.
Ronald McDonald House:
- We are now able to operate all 30 guest suites and provide overnight accommodations for 30 guest families. New guest family admissions require guests to agree to conditions that must be met for a family to qualify for a guest room. These conditions will be communicated to referred families by both our partner hospitals’ staff and our Guest Services Representatives.
- Families may occupy 1 guest room during the patient’s treatment. Adult caregivers as well as siblings are permitted to stay in the guest rooms. No more than 6 people may occupy a guest room. Visitors are also welcome between 9am and 8pm daily. We continue to conduct our regular procedure to screen all incoming families for contagious illnesses and will continue daily symptom screening of all guest families.
- Guest families and staff are required to wear masks when in communal spaces and our contracted professional cleaning services continue to keep our spaces clean and disinfected.
- As it pertains to our staff members, many team members will continue to work from home and will minimize representing RMHC CTX at any 3rd party fundraisers or presentations. All non-essential meetings continue to be held virtually – either by phone or video conference.
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms:
- Bryan/College Station – CHI St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan and CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital RMFR programs are open and serving families. Both overnight and day-use accommodations are available based on volunteer coverage of the spaces.
- Austin – St. David’s Women’s Center RMFR program is closed due to hospital renovations. This space is scheduled to reopen in March 2023, The original RMFR program directly outside the NICU will be made available again for day-use based on volunteer coverage. St. David’s Medical Center, Dell Children’s Medical Center and Seton Medical Center Austin RMFR programs are open and offering both overnight and day-use accommodations based on volunteer coverage.
Happy Wheels Carts:
- Happy Wheels Cart programs at Baylor Scott & White College Station, CHI St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan, CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital and Dell Children’s Medical Center are running daily, depending on volunteer coverage. The HWC program at St. David’s Children’s Hospital has been approved for reinstatement and will be returning to service in the next few weeks.
- For families who have experienced the tragic loss of a child, we continue to provide financial assistance for burial and cremation services.
- Our Hope Support Group serving those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss will continue to have a virtual component and we are exploring hybrid in-person options for the next group.
We continue to closely monitor guidance from government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, our RMHC Global leadership and others, regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) and continue to follow their direction. Throughout the global health crisis, we continue to serve families with hospitalized children who are inside hospitals each and every day. We are grateful to our entire community for your continued support, which is so critical during this time.