Press Release: New Ronald McDonald Family Room® program launches at the University of Utah Health for Newborn Intensive Care Families

Media Contacts:                                                                                                               

Katie Smith
Chief Development and Marketing Officer, RMHC
Office: 801-363-4663 | Cell: 801-910-1986

Kathy Wilets, Public Relations Director , U of U Health
Office: 801-581-5717

New Ronald McDonald Family Room® program launches at the University of Utah Health for Newborn Intensive Care Families 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of the Intermountain Area in partnership with University of Utah Health are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Newborn Intensive Care Ronald McDonald 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 offer onsite respite, lodging, food, and compassionate family-centered care to keep families close to their high-acuity newborn babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). University of Utah’s 55-bed NICU is one of the largest in the state of Utah and serves as a regional hub for life-saving neonatal care. This 1,800-square-foot Ronald McDonald Family Room program features:

  • a fully stocked kitchen with healthy grab and go nourishment
  • laundry, guest lockers, shower, and a guest computer bar
  • three private sleep rooms for overnight stays and naps
  • a private quiet room with a dedicated, comfortable breast pumping area
  • care bags for AirMed families arriving during the night
  • an actively hosted space with compassionate care by RMHC staff and volunteers

“It’s so exciting to launch this new Ronald McDonald Family Room program so families can comfortably remain within steps of their sweet babies as they receive extraordinary neonatal care at U of U Health’s NICU,” says Carrie Romano, CEO of RMHC Intermountain Area. “We know that family-centered care improves outcomes, and we’re grateful to have partnered with University of Utah Health for over 30 years in support of neonatal and pediatric patient families. This new program within the hospital further demonstrates 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 been providing exceptional care to the tiniest of babies,” says Tracey Nixon, chief nursing officer at U of U Health. “Many of these babies require long hospitalizations before being able to go home. As a result, this can be an incredibly stressful time for parents. We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities on this long-anticipated project. We can now provide our NICU parents with a much needed respite space during the challenging time of their baby’s hospitalization.”

The project was made possible with generous philanthropic support from University of Utah Health and RMHC benefactors.

A  virtual ribbon cutting for the new facility  was held today and may be viewed by clicking here.`


The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to surround families with the support they need to be near and care for their seriously ill or injured children. RMHC provides a home-away-from-home to ease daily burdens and empower families of hospitalized children with meaningful experiences and quality time together. The Newborn Intensive Care Ronald McDonald Family Room at University of Utah Hospital is open to families with newborn babies in the NICU. To learn more about RMHC and our new Ronald McDonald Family Room, please visit our website at

University of Utah Health is the state’s only academic health care system, providing leading-edge and compassionate care for a referral area that encompasses 10 percent of the U.S., including Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and much of Nevada. A hub for health sciences research and education in the region, U of U Health has a $428 million research enterprise and trains the majority of Utah’s physicians, including more than 1,460 health care providers each year at its Colleges of Health, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. With more than 20,000 employees, the system includes 11 community clinics and five hospitals: University Hospital, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University Orthopaedic Center, and the Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital. For 12 straight years, U of U Health has ranked among the top 10 US academic medical centers in the rigorous Vizient Quality and Accountability Study.