June 18, 2019
Medicine Hat will be home to Alberta’s fourth Ronald McDonald House.
In canvassing the community, Ronald McDonald House Charities found there was need and support for a home in Medicine Hat.
“What I found was the majority of people either needed a Ronald McDonald House or had a family member or a friend who stayed at a Ronald McDonald House in Alberta,” says Suzanne Pescod, director of marketing and communications for Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta. “It was really amazing to hear there was community support for a project like this, and knowledge of how Ronald McDonald Houses helped people they knew.”
Ronald McDonald Houses provide a place for families to call home so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little to no cost. The charity has been providing services since 1974 and has a global presence.
Medicine Hat’s Ronald McDonald House will be located within one block of Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. The hospital offers more than 70 services, including the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre. The new 250,000 square foot Ambulatory Care Building opened in July 2018 with 40 new outpatient spaces, an expanded day surgery area, neonatal area and intensive care areas, and a rooftop helipad.
Medicine Hat is Southeast Alberta’s primary service centre with a catchment area of approximately 140,000 people. The Ronald McDonald House will serve families with children under 18 and expecting parents in up to 60 communities surrounding Medicine Hat, including Bow Island, Oyen, Bassano and Brooks.
Local contractor Prime Builders was contracted to complete extensive renovations to an existing home near the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. When complete, the Ronald McDonald House will be a 4,100 square foot home with six bedrooms, a communal kitchen, communal sitting area, activities areas and shared laundry services.
“The house will look different from the other facilities across Alberta,” says Pescod. “It will have more of a home look and feel to it in order to blend into the neighbourhood.”
The Yuill Family Foundation, a local, private charity that focuses on health, education and student athletics initiatives, contributed $800,000 towards the facility.
The Ronald McDonald House is expected to open in December 2019.