A rendering of the Ronald McDonald House to be built near Stony...

A rendering of the Ronald McDonald House to be built near Stony Brook University Hospital. Credit: BAM Creative & RMHC NYM

Families with a child in a medical crisis may soon be able find a place to stay at a new Ronald McDonald House within walking distance of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

The facility, which includes 30 en-suite bedrooms and recreational spaces, is slated to open in 2026 with construction to begin in the spring. 

“The new Ronald McDonald House will provide a safe, secure and comfortable environment for families of children who are hospitalized at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” Carol Gomes, chief executive officer of Stony Brook University Hospital, said in a statement.

The Ronald McDonald House in Stony Brook will join another one in New Hyde Park and more than 350 globally that allow parents to focus on their child’s medical care and potentially eliminate hotel stays or reduce commutes to the hospital, the organization said. 

“We really seek to cover as much of the nonclinical care for these families so that they can just focus on being there for their sick child,” said Cynthia Wong Lippe, chair of the capital campaign to fundraise for the Stony Brook Ronald McDonald House.

At the New Hyde Park Ronald McDonald House, the average family stays for 14 days, the organization said. Its longest stay was about 250 nights.

The Stony Brook project hopes to bring a similar reprieve for families with hospitalized children.

When completed, the three-story facility will have features such as a fitness room, offices, movie theater and dining area with multiple kitchens, the organization said. There are also places for home schooling and tutoring.

Lippe said it is also common for local restaurants and organizations to come in and cook for the families.

The 30 en-suite bedrooms have a sitting area with a pullout couch, a full bathroom and an area with two beds. “We really consider the whole family in this,” she said.

The project will cost $30 million, of which the Ronald McDonald House has raised about $23.5 million in private donations, and organizers say they expect to raise the remainder over the next couple of years. Roughly $500,000 came from Suffolk County. 

Lippe said the fundraising process really brings a community together and likened having the services of Ronald McDonald House to getting an “invisible hug.”

“When you're going through the worst moment in your life … these invisible arms, you know, a community of strangers are reaching out to give you a lifeline,” she said.

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