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New Ronald McDonald House to be Built at Mercy Springfield

The new Ronald McDonald House is being constructed on the 6th floor of the new Mercy Children’s Hospital.  It will offer 10 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and common areas including a living room, dining room, kitchen, gathering room and playroom.

Families who don’t require overnight stays will be welcome during daylight hours.

A new pediatric intensive care unit will be built next to the house so families will be near their children.

Jay Guffey, chief operating officer at Mercy Springfield, says Ronald McDonald House has made the lives of families with sick children easier for many years in the city, and now even more families will be helped…

"It's gonna make a difference in that fact that now those families will be able to have those services provided right here in the facility.  They'll be down the hall from where their family member's gonna be cared for, and they'll be a part of that whole process of healing that goes on, so that's the difference we think that it's gonna make."

Bonnie Keller, president and CEO for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, says they’re excited to be able to open a new facility at Mercy…

"The need for our services has grown as the specialties of Mercy Children's Hospital expand to help even more sick children in the Ozarks, and, by working together, the new Ronald McDonald House will be there when families are most in need."

Mitchell and Dinah Vaught know firsthand how much of a difference Ronald McDonald Houses can have on families.  When Dinah was pregnant with her 3rd child, she spent 3 months at Mercy before her son Wyatt was born at 34 weeks.  Mitchell says being able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House gave him peace of mind…

"Well, it was a place for my wife and children to be able to have a place to stay, and they provided the food, and it was just a huge blessing of security for them to be able to have a place to stay while I was away.  You know, I couldn't provide like a nice place to live and Ronald McDonald House was there, and it was way bey0nd what we could imagine."

Mercy is providing more than 8200 square feet for the new facility. Completion is set for sometime this fall.  Nearly $1,825,000 is needed for the project.  More than $647,000  has been raised so far.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.