Mercy and Ronald McDonald House Charities debut state-of-the art facility to serve central Iowa children

New pediatric unit includes Iowa’s first Ronald McDonald Family Room


DES MOINES, Iowa­—Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines begins a new chapter in its legacy of more than 118 years of meeting the health needs of central Iowa children, with the opening of the newly renovated Mercy Children’s Center.

     Phase One of the $11.9 million dollar project incorporates proven health advantages of larger rooms, use of natural light, expanded use of technology, better patient monitoring and inclusion of the child’s family as part of the healing process. Twenty-two rooms will provide general pediatric care. The room size is almost doubled and blends energy and environmental efficiencies to help create a quality healing environment.

     “We have used the best evidence-based practices in pediatric and pediatric critical care medicine in developing this new healing space,” says Mercy Children’s Center Unit Director Jan Myers. “Along with the clinical excellence of our physicians and clinical staff, our pediatric patients will have access to some of the best care available.”

     Thanks to the generosity of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa, Mercy Children’s Center will include Iowa’s first Ronald McDonald Family Room. The dedicated facility and services will be offered to families challenged by the demands of caring for a sick child.

     “Sharing the Ronald McDonald Family Room with guests who also have a sick child can provide much needed emotional support,” says Ronald McDonald House Executive Director Brenda Miller. “The space will allow families to be more involved in their child’s recovery.”

     The Family Room has three overnight sleeping rooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, bathrooms, showers and an administrative office. The Family Room will offer snacks, beverages, meals as available, internet access, cable television, reading materials and a quiet place to rest.

     The three-phased renovation of the Mercy Children’s Center is being funded substantially through the generosity of Iowans, organizations including Ronald McDonald’s Charities, central Iowa businesses and present and past Mercy physicians and employees.

     The new Mercy Children’s Center will open Nov. 7. Construction on Phase Two to renovate the eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will begin the next day. A 10-room flex area capable of being used for general pediatric or critical pediatric care, depending on patient need, will be Phase Three. Completion of the Mercy Children’s Center is anticipated by late Spring 2012.

About Mercy Children’s Center

Mercy Children’s Center includes: central Iowa’s only pediatric heart surgery program, the Mercy Children’s Emergency Center, Mercy Children’s Pediatric Unit, Mercy Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mercy Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Mercy Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic, Mercy Pediatric Behavioral Services, pediatric rehabilitation services and six pediatric clinics.

About Mercy Foundation

Mercy Foundation works with generous community members, patients, corporations and organizations to support Mercy initiatives vital to those in need. Mercy Foundation is the preferred channel of giving to House of Mercy, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, West Lakes and Centerville, Mercy Health Network and Bishop Drumm Retirement Center. By supporting Mercy Foundation, donors provide vital support necessary to meet the needs of Iowans from birth to end of life.

About Ronald McDonald Charities of Central Iowa

The mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Iowa is to improve the quality of life for children and their families. With the support of our community, volunteers and our donors we are able to provide services for the hundreds of families that seek critical medical care in Des Moines, that is not provided in their home communities.

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