2013 Accomplishments

President's Office
    • Recruited two new Board members from the communications/financial industry and the McDonald’s Corporation’s senior management.

    • Balanced the 2013 budget with an operating surplus. Maintained expenses within original budget.

    • Created two new board committees: Capital Budget Oversight Committee and Board Governance Committee.

    • Oversaw the 35th anniversary of the charity with significant positive public relations and promoted good will in the community.
    • Raised $4 million over budgeted income, allowing the House to fund important infrastructure projects and programs that contribute to the fostering of a supportive and caring atmosphere for the children and families that call the House their home during treatment.

    • The 21st Annual Gala was the most successful Gala for the House, with over $6.3 million raised and over 2,000 persons in attendance. Musical performances were provided by cast members from the Tony award-nominated Broadway production, “Motown the Musical.”

    • We received the greatest level of support from private foundations in the history of the House, with over $760,000 in support. Foundations were primarily asked to fund programs directly affecting the lives of the children residing with us. For example, new in 2013 was a foundation gift from Royal Bank of Canada Capital Market to support music programs for children.

    • Raised over $1.2 million from donors in support of our Adopt the House Program.

    • The annual Share a Night event was held in conjunction with the 35th anniversary celebration, soliciting enough public support to assist 4,285 individual family night stays.

    • Established relationships with and executed high-profile publicity events and public service announcements featuring ABC News anchor Barbara Walters, actress Phylicia Rashad, actor and RMH New York Youth Ambassador Jake T. Austin, the New York Yankees, and Variety magazine.
    • Annual Audit — Completed annual audit on schedule and had report available at the April Board meeting for approval. Closed all prior year management comments, and had only four for 2013. Sustained No Material Weakness Letter from auditors. Kept audit fees virtually flat with prompt and accurate information.

    • Tax Returns — Completed as much work as possible during audit process to be able to file Federal 990 and 35 state tax returns on a timely basis after receiving all investment partnership tax information.

    • Matching Grant Program — Continued to work with volunteer director to educate volunteers on Matching Gift Program and create outreach program for corporations and businesses. Developed information templates for matching gifts and volunteer grants.

    • Budgeting — Prepared 2013 budget to meet Finance Committee and Board meeting deadlines. Maintained expenses within 4% of budget.

    • Fundraising — Managed and coordinated Greek Golf Tournament, 8K. Assisted major gift director with Naming Program. Received $4,000 grant from city council representative.

    • Hospital Outreach Program — Worked with program project manager and staff to expand reporting and benchmarks for third year of Hospital Outreach Program. Worked with program project manager to develop memorandum of understanding for future hospital relationships.

    • Long Range Plan — Initiated Long Range Plan process at annual management retreat. Met with extended cabinet for initial introduction of process.

    • Program Rewards Savings — Saved approximately $15,000 in airline travel, $9,000 in overnight shipping costs (40%), $1,200 in office supplies, and $3,000 in employee recognition gift cards. Total savings: $28,200.

    • Quarterly Event Pledge Review Meetings — Met with the development staff on a quarterly basis to review open event pledges and improve cash flow.

    • Brand Advertising and Awareness — Increased street sign branding from one to three times per year. Worked with Volunteer Department and company store for Phone Booth Campaign.
Family Support
    • Revenue generated by Family Support Services Department: $87,000.

    • Family support contacts for 2013 provided by chaplain: 4,271.

    • Emotional support contacts for 2013 provided by staff psychologist: 1,270.

    • 168 caregivers were visited at the bedside while caring for their sick child.

    • 4,493 family support representative and integrative wellness coordinator individual contacts with caregivers and their family members while interim at RMH New York, before returning to the hospital.

    • Developed co-branded collateral products for Ronald McDonald House — in-patient hospital initiative and “Women’s Integrative Wellness” services: personalized cosmetic bags, spa water, and tote bag.

    • Drafted and implemented “Circle of Excellence” for “Women’s Integrative Wellness,” which includes waivers for participants and wellness practitioners’ liability, best practices, and guidelines for “Women’s Integrative Wellness” night events.

    • Developed and produced instructional booklets: “After a Death: A guide for families when death is imminent or upon the death of a child,” and “Therapy Dog Program Policies and Procedures,” with volunteer handler waiver statement.


Representative Services
    • Assisted families with the arrangement of services for children who have passed away at home or in the hospital. Assisted families with relocation at the end of extended hospital stays or when a child has died. Acquire luggage, packing, and shipping materials for departing families.

    • Accompanied caregiver and patient in ambulance transport to the hospital. Accompanied families in urgent care and emergency department visits, typically staying with caregivers for extended periods of time until admitted to the hospital.

    • 24/7 response to electronic communications (via texts and emails) with clinicians and caregivers in crisis situations.

    • Help caregivers to organize paperwork, hospital receipts, household bills, etc. Worked with hospital navigation coordinator to assist tutors of Spanish-speaking siblings with the translation of their lesson plans. Coordinated in-patient birthday celebrations.

    • Accompanied caregivers on neighborhood outings for women’s wellness services and self-care.

Hospital Outreach Summary

    • In 2013, the hospital outreach services for in-patient family support and integrative wellness reached a total of 168 caregivers and family members while in the hospital. Hospitals supported include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NewYork Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, The Stephen D. Hassenfeld Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, and Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital.

    • There were a total of 4,493 family support and integrative wellness contacts with in-hospital caregivers and their family members, met while interim at the Ronald McDonald House in 2013. These include mothers and other family members who are at the bedside with patients, and return to the House on a daily basis.
    • Capital Improvements

      By the end of 2013, we completed the most far-reaching and intensive project here at RMH New York, which was the gut renovation of all eighty-four (84) guest rooms. To gut renovate an entire pediatric cancer housing facility, while maintaining occupancy, with no adverse effect on guests, was a formidable task, which we handled with relative ease by taking one floor out of service at a time, and sealing it off from the building to prevent disturbance of any kind to our families.

      The work, as previously indicated, included all new marble bathrooms, new medicine cabinets, new vanities with Silestone tops, new plumbing, new lighting, new simulated plank flooring throughout, new custom furnishings throughout, new specifically designed “California style” closets with mirrored doors (to maximize storage space for families), new high-security card-activated front-door locks, and safes in every room.

    • CHP (Combined Heat and Power) Project

      After investigating the benefits, and securing Board and state approval, we finally began the difficult task of installing our very own combined heat and power plant, which, in layman’s terms, is the combining of a power generator with specialized waste heat recovery equipment, to capture the waste heat from the generator and redirect it to heat our potable hot water and heating hot water, and to heat water to power our “hot water fired chillers” to handle the air-conditioning needs of the entire facility.

      Again, this project was a major undertaking in that it required the shutdown of the street to facilitate bringing a crane in to hoist all the equipment onto the roof. We are in the last stages of the installation, and expect to be throwing the switch this spring. When that occurs, we will be the most energy-efficient Ronald McDonald House on the planet, with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, an annual savings in utility expenses of at least $270,000, entirely new HVAC infrastructure, and most importantly, an increase in the comfort level of our families.

    • Fire Safety

      Compliance with future New York City fire safety codes has commenced, and includes replacement of all pull stations, all warden phones, and installation of strobe/speaker fire notification devices within all guest rooms.

      This work will be completed in early spring 2014.

    • Operations

      Compiled and assembled official RMH New York construction and building rules for contractors working at the House. This document consists of various instructions, requirements, and specifications for contractors to abide by.

    • Information Technology Key Accomplishments

    • Computer Rotation
      Performed three-year rotation cycles for those computers that are due for replacement.

    • Complete Guest Room Enhancements
      Completed rotation of new guest phones and implementation of safes within the guest rooms that include programming.

    • Server Room and Redundancy Improvements
      Made improvements in terms of disaster recovery and redundancy for future disasters. This includes but is not limited to consolidating switches for lower power consumption, more redundant UPS battery backup, switching and consolidating internet circuits for better internet redundancy. Also implemented a cloud-based continuity solution for better uptime reliability for our mail and active directory servers.

    • BG Check, Interactive Television, Kiosk
      Launched capital projects such as background checks for guests (including but not limited to a streamlined solution where social workers will be able to directly book into the reservation system), interactive television (including the ability for guests to look up hospital outreach services, house services, and access video-on-demand services), as well as the kiosk development.

    • Retirement of Blackberry Environment and Implementation of MDM
      Retired Blackberry Enterprise Server while switching the Blackberries to an Android-based environment. This includes the installation/configuration of a mobile device management system (MaaS360).

    • MFP Printers
      Rotated printers out for newer Konica Minolta printers as part of the equipment rotation cycle, which includes research, configuration, assembly, and installation of the printers.

    • Hospital Navigation
      Identified and worked with first-time families to help acclimate them to Ronald McDonald House and help support their health care experience. We were able to distribute over 300 family welcome gift bags and accompanied 96 families to their first appointments. In 2013, 768 families were guests at the Ronald McDonald House, and of this number, 403 were first-time families.

    • Special Project: 35th Anniversary Celebration
      As an integral team member in the planning of the Ronald McDonald House 35th anniversary celebration, created design concepts to showcase the House’s history through a timeline. This project served as a tribute to the organization and will continue to be of value long after the celebration has concluded.
    • 35th Anniversary, Thursday, December 5 — Recruited Chairman Peter Corritori worked with five committees — Food and Wine Committee, Entertainment Committee, Decor Committee, Timeline Committee, and Publication Committee, for a total of 37 volunteers — resulting in new relationships for the House, raising awareness, and a celebratory finale of over 450 guests. Guests were wined and dined with great food, music, state of the art lighting, and floral arrangements at little cost to the operating budget.

    • Established PSAs with President Dave Davis of WABC TV, and Broadway actress Phylicia Rashad.

    • Winter Wonderland Semi-formal held on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at the Burden Mansion. A total of 81 family members dressed to celebrate the holidays. A sponsored event by key volunteers.

    • Strong relationship with CEO and President Michael Davis resulted in a gift-in-kind ongoing gift. Linens for RMH GALA, Hospital Outreach Programs, Winter Wonderland, and various House programs all donated.

    • Raised $120,000 for two naming rooms.

    • Hospital Outreach — RMH Musical Magic provided on-site programs at partner hospitals to enhance enrichment activities in support of pediatric cancer and other critical care patients. Performances were organized as single events, ongoing series, and bedside programs. Musical Magic at a glance provided programs at four partner hospitals: Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, The Hospital for Special Surgery, Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital, and Kings County Hospital. Number of participants: 1,000 (estimated 775 children, 120 families, and 100 staff). Number of services: 32 (Morgan Stanley received 10; HSS received 16; Mount Sinai received three; Kings County one, and two in-House at RMH).


Quarterly Events
    • March Movie Madness — Close collaboration with volunteer Meagan Celeste and Disney's Dreamworks team allowed us to view a sneak preview of the movie “Meet the Croods” before its NYC opening. A total 75 children and caregivers from Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, Hospital for Special Surgery, NY Langone Medical Center, and Ronald McDonald House packed the Bohemian National Hall for a private screening.

    • High Tea — A total of 86 children and caregivers from Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, Hospital for Special Surgery, NY Langone Medical Center, and Ronald McDonald House NY dined in fascinators, silk gloves, pearls, and top hats for an afternoon of delight, music, and merriment. Maison Kayser and Baked by Melissa provided the sweet treats.

    • Camp Ronald — A total of 13 family members from Hassenfeld, Hospital for Special Surgery, and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital joined families from the House for three special days of Camp Ronald.

    • Welcome Back to Fall — A total of 65 backpacks filled to the brim were distributed to our House families and hospital families.

    • Camp Ronald — Camp Ronald returned to serve 104 registered campers and their caregivers for six full weeks of fun, featuring 16 day trips and two special in-House events (more than any previous year). Families spent all summer making lasting memories together.

    • SUNY Oneonta Music School and Camp Broadway — Two patients from RMH NY were given scholarships to attend two weeks at SUNY Oneonta Music School, and one patient was given the opportunity to attend Camp Broadway (first time in our history).

    • Kings County Hospital — First “public” Hospital Outreach Program for NICU and Pediatric patients resulted in:
      * 101 patients participating in Welcome Back to Fall — pediatric and outpatient services.
      * 151 patients and family members participating in NICU Reunion Event.
      * 200 pediatric patients and family members participating in Halloween Brooklyn Boo Bash.
Human Resources/Volunteers
  • Fundraising
      • Coordinated volunteer support of fundraising events, including Team Ronald’s “Heroes,” and the Fifth Annual Maritime Event — $750,000.

      • Secured three foundation grants totaling $100,000.

      • Conducted annual Staff Giving Appeal for 2013, raising $46,695 with 100% participation.

      • Increased volunteer participation in the Matching Gifts program.

  • New Volunteer Initiatives
      • Increased readership of the volunteer newsletter, “The Ronald Report,” to over 642 volunteers monthly, highlighting activities, House updates, and upcoming events.

      • The Youth Advisory Council, made up of teenagers eager to get involved in volunteerism and philanthropy, coordinated numerous fundraisers that raised over $4,000, which they used to support field trips and numerous events for our teenage residents.

      • Engaged corporate and community involvement in the House, utilizing a corporate volunteer campaign to perform over 11,257 hours of service for the House. Increased awareness of the House through the Share a Night event, the 35th anniversary, and National Family Pajama Night, as well as street banners and kiosks installed throughout the city.

      • Coordinated the sixth Annual Hope Awards recognition event, recognizing Bunny Barb, Lynda LaMonte-Garmong, John Rohs, and Kenneth Schulman.

      • Coordinated the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner, with 300 in attendance, including Ronald McDonald House Charities founders Fran and Fred Hill, along with honorees Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the NYPD, and Bobby Grubert, Deb Freer, and the Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets. Richard O’Reilly, MD, and Shelly S. Friedman, Esq., were recognized for 30 years of distinguished service.
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