House Operations Update- June 15, 2020

House Update Graphic

To our community-

As you know, our operations have changed dramatically over the last three months. In March, our global organization, RMHC, made the difficult decision to suspend the acceptance of new families checking into our House (and all RMHC chapters and programs around the world). As we watched the pandemic spread, this suspension became indefinite and we have not been able to allow new families to check-in since March 21.

We also suspended all volunteer shifts, our volunteer meal program, and in-person fundraising events. We have been functioning on an essential staff-only model where most employees have been working from home, with a core of operations staff rotating in-House to support vital day-to-day functions.

Throughout the suspension of new check-ins, families who were already in-House were permitted to remain here while their child received treatment at the hospital. While we began with 30 families at the beginning of restrictions, we currently have 3 families staying with us and we remain dedicated and focused on providing daily meals and accommodations for them.

Now, as the country and our state begin to reopen, we are working toward “program reinstatement” as defined by RMHC as “the resumption of prior program activity in a previously closed or repurposed program, the acceptance of new and returning guest families to an RMH or RMFR program, and the acceptance of families who were temporarily lodged in area hotels, bedside at hospitals, or with local families.”

RMHC has provided a clear, detailed, and thorough checklist of requirements to be completed and submitted with an application for program reinstatement. We are working diligently to complete all requirements so that we can open our doors for families as soon as possible. These requirements will ensure that we open safely and include these key areas:

  • Chapter and Program Capacity
  • Protecting the Health and Well-being of Families and Staff
  • Healthcare System Capacity and Policies
  • Public Health System Support
  • Epidemiological Factors
  • Governmental and Community Factors

What does this mean? This means we are doing things like enhancing cleaning protocols, ensuring we have enough PPE for staff and families, training staff in new procedures, and working closely with our partner hospitals, among many, many other requirements covered in the Program Reinstatement Request.

Once we are approved for reinstatement, our House will begin to open- first to families of the most critical patients who meet specific requirements, and then through phases which will allow a broader group of families, staff, and volunteers to return. We look forward to communicating with you about those specifics as we move through program reinstatement.

To you- as guest families, supporters, and volunteers, we can’t wait to welcome you back as soon as we safely can. We can’t thank you enough for your unwavering support over the last few months. You have kept our doors open through your generous donations, and quite literally put food on the table for our guest families through initiatives likes our Meals for the House program.

Thank you and see you soon,
-Pam Cornforth, President and CEO, Ronald McDonald House of Delaware