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Stony Brook Children’s Partners with Ronald McDonald House to Open New Family Lounge

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The NICU Lounge Helps Families Decompress without Having to Leave the Hospital

Nine years ago, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital (SBCH) partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro (RMHC NYM) to create one of the first in-hospital respite lounges on Long Island. Now, RMHC NYM and their donor community have done it again, opening a second family lounge inside the SBCH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“Serving families in our community is at the very heart of what we do — and having the opportunity to provide quiet space for families with children being cared for in our NICU is an essential part of providing quality care for our patients,” said Hal Paz, executive vice president, Health Sciences, and chief executive officer, Stony Brook University Medicine. “We are grateful to donors like the Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro whose ongoing support helps us to deliver on our mission.”

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Ronald McDonald NICU Family Room Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

The respite lounges help families take a break from the clinical environment and decompress without having to leave the hospital. The new respite room includes a comfortable new lounge and kitchen area stocked with snacks and drinks, bathroom facilities with a shower and a fully stocked laundry room. It also offers parents the opportunity to meet other parents going through similar experiences and to access support at a whole new level.

“We are thrilled to have this new resource available to families who are caring for a child that needs critical medical assistance,” said Matt Campo, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Metro. “Our mission is to provide a strong, supportive, and caring environment by removing the burden of finding housing and basic human needs so that parents and caregivers can focus on what is most important, which is helping their child get better.”

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Photo by Jeanne Neville/Stony Brook Medicine

For babies in the NICU there may be a long recovery time, so many parents must return to work while their child is still in the hospital. The kitchenette, laundry and bathroom facilities are available 20 hours a day to suit the needs of parents and families.

“However hard we work to help our families, having a baby in the NICU is one of the most difficult experiences any parent can go through,” said Dr. Shanthy Sridhar, interim chief of neonatology and medical director, NICU at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “The new lounge expands our ability to offer families some quiet time to recharge but still stay close to their babies. We are so grateful to RMHC NYM for making this happen.”

Stony Brook Medicine’s NICU is equipped to deliver expert care for Suffolk County’s smallest and sickest close to home. Annually at Stony Brook, there are approximately 1,000 admissions to the NICU, 100 neonatal transports, 200 maternal transports, 90 newborns weighing less than 1,500 grams and 4,000 inborn deliveries.

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