Special Message from Carrie Romano/2019 Annual Report

We want to thank you and give you a sense of what you helped make possible last year.

We also want to keep you apprised of our mission impact during the COVID-19 pandemic this year to date.

Fulfilling the Mission During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the world and RMHC, and it will continue to do so for an unknown period of time. Our highest priority is – and has always been – the health and safety of pediatric patient families. RMHC’s on-site programming was temporarily suspended on March 18th to comply with public health orders from WHO, the CDC and Utah’s local state, county and city governments, and RMHC Global. The same day we suspended on-site programs we began moving families into off-site lodging to safely isolate.

Off-site support of Pediatric Patient Families

Through the pandemic we’ve been focused on continuously serving pediatric patient families traveling far distances with high acuity children that require long lengths of stay.  We are keeping our mission front and center, and focusing our financial resources on long-term families (staying five+ days) and traveling long distances (100 miles).

Since March 19th we’ve provided over 150 families with:

  • off-site lodging with private kitchens;
  • prepared food and groceries;
  • transportation to and from the area hospitals

So far this year we’ve spend more than $200,000 on unbudgeted emergency off-site lodging!

On-site program reinstatement

On July 13th we began a phased and gradual reinstatement of on-site programming at the Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at Primary Children’s Hospital and Hospitality Cart at Ogden Regional Medical Center.  Our Hospitality Cart program at Shriner’s Hospital will continue to be temporarily suspended until hospital volunteers are reinstated.

With reinstatement we will also continue to support pediatric patient families with separate off-site lodging, food and transportation until a vaccine is available.

Why reinstate now when COVID-19 cases are spiking in Utah?

  1. We understand the pressing needs of pediatric patient families and our hospital partners;
  2. It’s not financially sustainable to continue paying for off-site emergency lodging, food and transportation at market rates; and
  3. We know much more about COVID-19 now than we knew in March.

Together over the last three months, we have developed a comprehensive reinstatement safety plan for on-site operations. We have secured PPE, created new practices, protocols and safety measures to help keep our team, guests and the community safe to limit the spread of Covid-19. Our team has designed a super safety campaign for our reinstatement campaign to ensure best practices while providing service during COVID-19. These new safety superheroes will become familiar as they appear on signage, masks and a social-media campaign – all inspired by the RMHC superhero child-patients we serve.

Working with Experts

Our COVID-19 Reinstatement Plan has been carefully reviewed by our medical advisory committee, the Salt Lake County Health Department, infectious disease experts, board, staff, RMHC Global and our hospital partners. We’re surrounded by highly skilled medical professionals offering expert support from our local health departments, a truly exceptional and highly qualified local medical advisory committee, and deeply committed partner hospitals.

Community Support

We’ve received inspiring community support to meet the challenges COVID-19 creates and I commit to you that we will:

  • continue to work to earn your support to create more mission and better mission;
  • make thoughtful decisions to protect the health and safety of the people we serve and the people who deliver our collective mission;
  • do everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19; and
  • maintain the high level of trust people place in RMHC.

If you have questions or need more information, please feel welcome to call or email me at 801-363-4663 or carrie@rmhslc.org.

With gratitude and best wishes for good health.


Carrie Romano
Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area