Ronald McDonald Family Room at Health Sciences North keeps families together and close to their sick children.

When your child is in the hospital, days can often feel never-ending. For many families across Northern Ontario with children in need of life-saving treatment, they may need to travel to Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury.

Thankfully, there’s a place for them to rest, recharge and focus on their child’s health: the Ronald McDonald Family Room at HSN. Families can relax, eat a snack, and even take a nap – all within the hospital, just steps from their child’s bedside.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto Family Rooms are a quiet place away from the medical space for families to recharge during long days of testing or treatment. Research shows this promotes a family’s overall well-being; helping them cope better with the stress of their child’s illness.

Each of our Family Rooms has a relaxing lounge space, a TV, and a kitchenette stocked with complimentary snacks and beverages. Some have private sleep rooms, and private washrooms with showers.

“The Ronald McDonald Family Room at Health Sciences North supports families from Sudbury and other northern Ontario communities. The Family Room is special because it offers a welcoming space for families within the hospital to rest and engage in self-care, alleviating stress because they are still close to their child.”

Sandy Yeung, Manager, Family Rooms, at RMHC Toronto.

In operation since 2016, the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Health Sciences North is open Monday to Friday with support from a Family Room Coordinator and a team of compassionate volunteers. Volunteers are the heart of the RMHC Toronto Family Room network, and it’s through their commitment that the space can be open to serve families who need a place to call home when they’re away from their own.

Family Room volunteers support families by helping them navigate the room’s amenities, as well as being a friendly face during stressful times. The Family Room at Health Sciences North is located on the 3rd floor, in the Pediatrics Unit and is open to families with children in pediatrics and the NICU.

“Volunteers are a vital component of our Family Room operations,” says Sandy. “We rely on our volunteers to greet families and show them around the space. Committed volunteers are also a key reason why we are able to extend hours for our Family Rooms. We are so grateful to all of our current volunteers and are always looking for more people to support our Family Rooms!”

We are currently recruiting additional volunteers so that we can expand our hours of service. Interested in learning more? Check out the opportunities here.

RMHC Toronto currently operates seven Family Rooms in five hospitals across the Greater Toronto Area and in Sudbury. Each of our Family Rooms is unique and tailored to the needs of the families in the units and the hospitals they support. They are staffed by dedicated, compassionate volunteers.

“The absolute best part of my job is when a family is going home and visits the Family Room to share the good news and say thank you,” says Sandy. “As much as RMHC Toronto positively impacts families, I believe their impact on us is far greater.”

Click here to learn more about our Ronald McDonald Family Rooms.