Respite at the Hospital: Family Room at Cleveland Clinic Fairview

The Ronald McDonald House celebrated the grand reopening and 8th anniversary of the Family Room at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital on Wednesday, June 14. More than 75 people toured the room, enjoyed cake and punch, and met a family impacted by the room.

RMH Executive Director Craig Wilson welcomed everyone to the new room, including speakers Keith Strauss, incoming President of the RMH Board of Directors, Dr. Neil Smith, president of Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital, Dr. Hany Aziz of the Neonatology Department, and Deb Small, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Fairview. All expressed their appreciation for the services that the Family Room provides to their families. It’s a place where parents can rest so they can better care for their children and make the best decisions for them.

Also in attendance was the Loschetter family: Erin, Chris, and 2-year-old Emmett. On May 29, 2015, Emmett was born at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital at 28 weeks. He weighed just 2 lbs. 12 oz. Emmett spent 57 days in the NICU. Chris and Erin were on 16-hour shifts with Emmett. The Family Room was a place for them to escape and take care of themselves during shift changes. They used the private restroom (much appreciated!), shared meals with other families in similar situations, ate snacks to fuel their bodies, and received help from the volunteers.

Two years later we’re still friends with the families we met in the Family Room. Emmett is best friends with NICU Noah, his neighbor during his stay at the hospital. They’re both thriving and enjoy their play dates.
— Erin Loschetter

In addition to a bathroom with a shower, the new Family Room also includes two respite rooms, the first of their kind in the State of Ohio. The rooms, which include a bed and lounge chair, are especially helpful for families who live too far away to go to home for their basic needs.

Since 2009, the Family Room at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital has served more than 69,000 visitors and provided 164 full meals. The Happy Wheels cart, which debuted last year, has visited 540 patient rooms and provided gifts to 745 individuals. Incredibly 12 current volunteers have been with the room since it first opened: Margie Bejbl; Emese Blankenship; Charlotte Chippi; Karen Hardy; Marie Kaminski; Deb Myers; Roberta Meredith; Rosemary Ogilvy; Ann Opett; Pat Ormiston; Carolyn Sesplankis; and Pauline Yee.

Says Family Room Coordinator Kathie McNeilly, “Our Family Room has the ability to make a person feel at home. It provides a sense of normalcy and peace during a time of chaos.”

The Family Room at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital is one of four Family Rooms operated by the Ronald McDonald House in the Cleveland area. Other rooms at located at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Children’s, and MetroHealth Medical Center.