Our History

This year we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Westmoreland House, 17th anniversary of the House Within the Hospital, and the 7th anniversary of the RMHC Family Room at the Golisano Children’s Hospital—all of which remind us of the collective impact of our mission. 

For three decades, we have facilitated access to top-notch pediatric care in our community while keeping families together during some of the most joyful, and life-shattering, moments of their lives. We have served families locally and across the globe. RMHC Rochester thanks the community for its continued support and commitment to children and families in need of medical and mental healthcare. 

Program Historical Timeline

In 1969, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia, PA. Today, there are more than 307 Houses throughout the United States and 30 countries and regions around the world.  

February 18, 1990The Ronald McDonald House at 333 Westmoreland Drive opened its doors to families with kids receiving medical care in the Rochester community. This historic opening was the culmination of a true community collaboration between Strong Memorial Hospital, local McDonald’s owner-operators, and generous donors, supporters, and volunteers from across Rochester. 

January 17, 2005House Within the Hospital (HWTH) opened within Strong Memorial Hospital to provide lodging, respite, and support for families with the most critically ill or injured children – located just minutes away from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. As one of the first of its kind in the United States, the Rochester community once again demonstrated its innovation, generosity, and commitment to outstanding family-centered medical care. 

July 7, 2015RMHC Family Room at Golisano Children’s Hospital opened its doors to providing respite support to all pediatric patients and their families. Not only can families rest, they can grab a bite to eat, do a load of laundry, and even shower. This space was created with all families in mind. 

June 12, 2018The Hospitality Cart launched to offer support to outpatient children and their families by distributing healthy and nutritious snack bags as they leave their appointment at the Ambulatory Care Clinic at Strong Memorial Hospital. 

January 2, 2018: RMHCR expanded its services across all major health systems in the Rochester community. The Family Lounge at Rochester General Hospital opened to provide families of pediatric patients a space where they can enjoy snacks, freshly baked cookies, and beverages in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. 

November 5, 2018: The Family Room at URMC Mental Health and Wellness opened to families of pediatric patients receiving care in the Department of Psychiatry at Strong.  The Mental Health and Wellness Family Lounge provides a respite space with a play area, laundry machine, and kitchenette with snacks and coffee. The lounge also includes psychiatric resources, a computer, and a printer for families to use. RMHC Rochester is proud to be the first Ronald McDonald House in the United States to offer a program for mental health patients and to be there to ease the burden on these families. 

April 21, 2021: Opened two sleeping rooms that allow new parents from the August Family Birth Place at Unity Hospital to stay close to their babies and parents to stay close to their kids in the Golisano Neuro Rehab Center.

December 1, 2021: The Family Room at Unity Hospital opened to families of pediatric patients receiving pediatric care at Unity Hospital. The space allow families to have place to rest and grab a bite to eat.

We thank the community for your continued support.