New Ronald McDonald Family Room program launched at U of U Health for NICU families

Dec 17 2021 10:00

Intermountain Area Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), in partnership with University of Utah Health, is pleased to announce the opening of the Ronald McDonald Newborn Intensive Care Family Room at University of Utah Hospital.

This Ronald McDonald Family Room program is the third of its kind in the state of Utah. The new program will provide on-site respite, shelter, food and family-centered care to keep families close to their high acuity newborns in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The University of Utah’s 55-bed NICU is one of the largest in the state of Utah and serves as a regional hub for vital newborn care. This 1,800 square foot Ronald McDonald family room program includes:

  • a well-equipped kitchen with healthy food to take away
  • laundry, guest lockers, shower and computer bar for guests
  • three private bedrooms for overnight stays and naps
  • a quiet private room with a space dedicated to a comfortable breast pump
  • care bags for AirMed families arriving overnight
  • an actively hosted space with compassionate care by OMRM staff and volunteers

“It is so exciting to launch this new Ronald McDonald Family Room Program so that families can stay comfortably within reach of their babies while receiving extraordinary newborn care at the U of U Health’s NICU,” said Carrie Romano, CEO of RMHC Intermountain Area. “We know that family-centered care improves outcomes and we are grateful to have partnered with the University of Utah Health for over 30 years to support families of neonatal and pediatric patients. This new program within the hospital demonstrates once again the University of Utah’s commitment to family-centered care.

“For more than 53 years, our dedicated neonatologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists. and others have provided exceptional care to the smallest of babies, ”said Tracey Nixon, head nurse at U of U Health. “Many of these babies require long hospital stays before they can return home. As a result, it can be an incredibly stressful time for parents. We are delighted to extend our partnership with Ronald McDonald Houses on this long awaited project. We can now provide our parents in the NICU with much needed respite during the difficult time of their baby’s hospitalization.

The project was made possible through the generous philanthropic support of the University of Utah Health and OMRM benefactors.

A virtual ribbon cutting for the new installation took place today and can be viewed here:


The mission of Ronald McDonald Houses is to provide families with the support they need to be loved and care for their critically ill or injured children. OMRM provides a home away from home to ease the daily burden and allow families of hospitalized children to have meaningful experiences and spend quality time together. The Ronald McDonald Family Room in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah Hospital is open to families with newborns at the NICU. To learn more about OMRM and our new Ronald McDonald Family Room, please visit our website at

nicu families babies family-centered care partnerships

Dora W. Clawson