Premier Christy Clark today announced $13.375 million towards a new Ronald McDonald House that will support British Columbian families who have a sick or disabled child needing to travel to Vancouver for treatment at BC Children's Hospital.
"As a parent, I know the emotional and financial strain families face when they have a severely ill child who needs medical care," said Premier Clark. "A new Ronald McDonald House will offer a supportive, home-like environment for families while their child receives the care they need at BC Children's Hospital."
The $13.375 million will go towards building a new state-of-the-art facility on the campus of BC Children's Hospital. The new Ronald McDonald House will be able to accommodate approximately 2,200 families a year and up to 60 families at one time. The cost of the project is estimated at $26.75 million, with Ronald McDonald House BC raising the remainder through its ongoing capital fundraising campaign. The existing Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver accommodates approximately 400 families a year from across B.C. and can house up to 13 families at one time.
"Having a sick child is never easy and a new Ronald McDonald House will significantly increase the number of families that can stay together when they have a loved one receiving medical treatment," said Minister of Health Michael de Jong. "This new facility will complement the redevelopment project already underway at BC Children's Hospital and builds on our commitment to families in British Columbia."
Once the re-zoning application is approved, groundbreaking for the new Ronald McDonald House is expected to begin later this year. Construction of the House is anticipated to begin in early 2012 with a grand opening of the facility in early 2013.
"Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver has been a home away from home since 1983 for thousands of B.C. families with sick children" said Colin Hansen, MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena. "The new state-of-the-art facility will allow for more families to stay together with improved experiences and build on the outstanding work done at the existing House."
"By building a new Ronald McDonald House at BC Children's Hospital, we will be able to provide timely treatment for sick children by having the facility closely integrated with the medical community," said Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. "Families from all over B.C. will be able to stay on-site and provide their children with the familiarity needed in a safe and caring environment."
"A new Ronald McDonald House will greatly enhance our ability to serve those families who need our services most and will strengthen the health outcomes for children in B.C.," said Ronald McDonald House BC CEO Richard Pass. "We are delighted that the Province is providing half of the funding needed and can't wait to get construction started on what will be the second-largest Ronald McDonald House program in Canada."
Ronald McDonald House BC is owned and operated by the Children's Family House Society of BC, a local non-for-profit organization. The existing Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver has provided accommodation and services for seriously ill children and their families since 1983. Funding for their programming and services is provided by individual donations, organizations, and businesses including McDonald's Canada and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Office of the Premier
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Richard Pass, CEO
Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon