Ronald McDonald House New York’s Healthcare & Hospitality Industry Advisory Councils Help Families Fight Against Pediatric Cancer

Industry Advisory Councils include leaders from Pfizer, Cornell University, Marriott International Inc., WebMD and more to provide support, resources and expertise to RMH-NY in its ongoing mission to serving pediatric cancer patients & their families

NEW YORK, NY – February 10, 2021 – Industry leaders from the worlds of healthcare and hospitality have joined forces to help children and their families during their fight against pediatric cancer, as part of Ronald McDonald House New York’s (RMH-NY) Healthcare and Hospitality Industry Advisory Councils.

Comprised of a senior-level group of executive leaders, RMH-NY’s two Councils provide unique expertise to the organization and continually advise on core initiatives, including pediatric cancer treatment trends, the patient and guest experience, healthcare hospitality, innovation in guest amenities and services, and more. The Councils have also been front and center throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, working with RMH-NY’s senior leadership to execute strategies to continue helping families in the fight against cancer amid the global crisis.

“From providing critical care and support to families as children receive life-saving cancer treatment, to offering housing, meals and various amenities for all guests, Ronald McDonald House New York is truly at the nexus of healthcare and hospitality,” said Ruth C. Browne, SD, President and CEO of RMH-NY. “Our Healthcare and Hospitality Councils have been instrumental in innovating our initiatives, advancing our mission as a leader in these industries, and ensuring that we can continue serving families throughout the COVID-19 crisis. This is an outstanding group of individuals that devote their time and resources to fighting against pediatric cancer, and we are so grateful for their unwavering commitment to Ronald McDonald House New York.”

Representing a cross-section of various industries related to healthcare – including technology, pharmaceutical, biotech and direct services – RMH-NY’s Healthcare Council provides invaluable strategic guidance to strengthen the organization’s initiatives that serve pediatric cancer patients and their family members:
  • Founder and CEO of Ride Health Imran Cronk has been instrumental in helping RMH-NY assess its patient transportation, and the company now provides medically safe transportation to and from treatment for all patients on demand in their own language.
  • Dr. Elly Barry, MD, MMSc senior director global clinical lead for Xtandi and Pediatric Oncology at Pfizer, advises on RMH-NY leadership on trends in pediatric cancer and clinical trials to support long-range strategic planning.

RMH-NY’s Hospitality Council advises on guest rooms, services and amenities, and contributes to RMH-NY’s programming by utilizing their services to develop customized initiatives for patients and their families.
  • Former Avvio North America President Rich Tuckwell-Skuda, named one of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s ‘Top 25 Extraordinary Minds’ in the industry, supported the launch of a multifaceted five-year partnership with Avvio that provided RMH-NY with its artificial intelligence-powered booking engine platform. This complimentary service provides families, hospital staff and care providers with the ability to seamlessly reserve rooms online at the House.
  • Brooke Hollis, executive director at Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures and associate director at Cornell’s Sloan Program in Health Administration, has provided top faculty and graduate student talent from Cornell’s School of Hotel Management and its Sloan Program, he serves as senior consultants to support the House. The group completed several studies for RMH-NY, including a Patient and Family Experience Assessment, Employee Experience and Operations Review, Patient Transportation Study, Hospital Partnership Analysis, and most recently, a COVID-19 Case Study & Business Model Impact that will be co-published by Cornell University and RMH-NY.

Ronald McDonald House New York provides temporary housing, care and support for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive and caring environment that keeps families close to each other and the treatment their children need. Located on East 73rd Street in New York, RMH-NY serves families throughout all five boroughs of New York City, in addition to families across every state in the U.S. and around the world.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, RMH-NY has continued to support families in their fight against pediatric cancer by transitioning its services and implementing new procedures and precautions in order to ensure the health and safety of families and employees at the House. RMH-NY has been providing meals and activities directly to families’ rooms, virtual programming, online support groups, transportation to and from treatment, and more, with staff working around-the-clock to meet the needs of each individual family. The House has also continued to provide support to its partnering hospitals across NYC by delivering special wellness packages to show appreciation for healthcare workers and their dedication to patients.

Members of RMH-NY’s Hospitality Council include: Wendy Bosalavage, president, LIVunLtd; Vijay Dandapani, president & CEO, Hotel Association of New York City; Dina Ferreira-Dunn, manager, B2B marketing, American Airlines, Mastercard; Brooke Hollis, executive director, Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, associate director Sloan Program in Health Administration; Heather Kolakowski, lecturer, Food and Beverage Management, Hunger, Health and Nonprofit Social Enterprise, Cornell University; Brian Povinelli, Marriott senior vice president, brand leader for Westin, LeMeridian, Renaissance, Autograph, Tribute and Design; Tracy Pulito, assistant general counsel, privacy, InterPublic Group; Rich Tuckwell-Skuda, Founder and CEO, RTS Hospitality; Brian Scanlon, vice president & senior counsel, Intellectual Property, Marriott International, Inc.; Dr. Mary Tabacchi, Cornell University professor emerita, author and researcher and board member of the Global Wellness Summit, and Elizabeth Weiner, advisory board of Cornell, leading independent art curator for international hotels and healthcare facilities.

RMH-NY’s Healthcare Council members include: Elly Barry, MD, MMSc senior director global clinical lead for Xtandi and Pediatric Oncology, Pfizer; Imran Cronk, founder and CEO, Ride Health; Jennifer Esposito, vice president, Magic Leap; Dr. Neil Parikh, president, Oscar Medical Group; Chaitenya Razdan, co-founder and CEO, Care+Wear; Arun Savkur, Jon B. Schandler, retired hospital CEO; Dr. Robert Schneider, chief scientist - Microbiology and Developmental Genetics, NYU School of Medicine, associate director, NYU Cancer Institute, director of Translational Cancer Research; Michael Smith, MD, chief medical officer, WebMD; Daniel Trencher, SVP Product & Strategy, Teledoc Health; and Jeff Yuan, health tech entrepreneur.

About Ronald McDonald House New York
Located on East 73rd Street in New York, Ronald McDonald House New York (RMH-NY) is New York City’s House. The organization provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive and caring environment that encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems. RMH-NY has served more than 59,000 families throughout all five boroughs of New York City, across the U.S. and around the world, and approximately 40% of families are international. Its 11-story, 79,000 square-foot House features 95 guestrooms – including six post-transplant suites – four full guest kitchens, laundry facilities, two outdoor terraces, private libraries, a dining room, living room and more. At the House, families are welcomed with love and comfort, and lifelong friendships are formed among people who understand what it’s like to cope with such a devastating diagnosis. RMH-NY’s programs help to provide families a sense of normalcy, including wellness programs, educational tutors, music, art, transportation, activities for siblings, holiday and birthday parties, specialized support groups and more. The organization’s presence extends well beyond the confines of the House, as RMH-NY is also committed to positively impacting communities across the five boroughs. Through partnerships with 16 of the city’s leading hospitals, RMH-NY provides critical services to families with children undergoing cancer treatment at these hospitals. For more information, or to learn how to volunteer or donate, please visit rmh-newyork.org.

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