New RMHC Programs Open at HCA Virginia Johnston-Willis Hospital

On June 4th, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Richmond opened Family Room and Hospitality Cart programs at HCA Johnston-Willis Hospital. These programs represent an exciting milestone for our organization as we expand our presence south of the James River for the very first time. 

Our new Family Room, located in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, offers families a calming oasis from the hustle and bustle of the hospital. The room is complete with a comfortable sitting area and TV, a stocked kitchen area with a microwave and refrigerator, as well as books, magazines, board games and small comfort items such as toiletries and blankets. 

The RMHC Hospitality Cart will roll through the hallways of Johnston-Willis Pediatric units, offering families who can’t leave their child’s bedside activity packs, snacks, coffee, toiletries and more. To celebrate this remarkable achievement, we held aGrand Opening celebration and ribbon cutting on June 4th at Johnston-Willis with leadership from the hospital and the community, as well as several local McDonald’s Owner/Operators.

Our Guests of Honor  

We were beyond grateful to be joined by the Grady family at the opening of our new programs. Their presence was a fantastic demonstration of the critical need for RMHC Richmond’s programs, and represented a beautiful tie between Johnston-Willis and our organization. In 2023, Jacqueline stayed at the Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue for 19 nights after her daughter Olyvia was born prematurely at Johnston-Willis Hospital. 

While staying at our Monument House, Jacqueline formed special relationships with other families at the House, recalling that she occasionally joined them for dinner and that they checked in on one another. She also found relief from the services offered by RMHC that allowed her to focus on her recovery, both physically and mentally, and spend more time with her daughter. Jacqueline was particularly appreciative of the meals and snacks made accessible to her for free, sharing that not having to worry about cooking or food costs when she was preoccupied with being at her daughter’s side provided a huge source of comfort and gave her “the freedom to relax.”

The biggest impact that her stay at Monument House had on Jacqueline, however, was the care and attention she received from RMHC Richmond staff. Jacqueline grew very close with several of our staff members, who ensured that she was taking care of herself and were there for her when she was overwhelmed and needed to talk. She recalled that their attention brought her “a huge sense of calm,” explaining that “They don’t do it like it’s a job. It doesn’t feel like staff members, they feel like family.” 

Today, Jacqueline is thrilled to have her family together now that Olyvia is out of the hospital. To share her story, Jacqueline insisted on stopping by our Monument House, where her son enthusiastically showed his friend our downstairs playroom and Jacqueline took the time to catch up with the staff members who had the greatest impact on her during her stay. 

 At the opening of the Johnston-Willis programs Olyvia was the star of the show, and Jacqueline’s glowing pride and love for her daughter perfectly captured why RMHC Richmond works so hard to continue #KeepingFamiliesClose.