Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer any questions you might have. If you can’t find your question answered under the programs below, please contact us.

Ronald McDonald House

How can I stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

To stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Madison, we have two criteria that families must meet. The first that the patient is 18 years old or younger at the time of referral. The second that the patient’s family must live at least 35 miles away from the Ronald McDonald House. Each family is allowed one room.

For their initial stay, families must be referred by an accredited healthcare facility in Madison.

Families can return for subsequent stays without a referral if the patient is the same as their previous stay(s). If the patient is different, a new referral must be made by the facility providing treatment.

Currently, we are able to serve families of children being treated at the UW Health Hospitals and Clinics (American Family Children’s Hospital, the Waisman Center, and UW Hospital), SSM Health (St Mary’s Hospital & Davis Duehr Eye Clinic), UnityPoint Health (Meriter Hospital & Meriter Child & Adolescent Psychiatry), Central Wisconsin Center and Mendota Mental Health.

Once a referral has been made, we will put your family on our Wait List to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. The length of our guests’ stays are often indeterminant therefore even when a referral has been made, we do not always have rooms available. On the morning of your anticipated arrival, please call the House after 9:00 AM and we will have a better idea as to our availability to provide accommodation to incoming families.

How are Ronald McDonald Houses funded?

Generous supporters like you help fund Ronald McDonald Houses. The majority of our programming funds come from individuals, organizations, and businesses.

Does McDonald's fund Ronald McDonald Houses?

Local McDonald’s restaurant owner/operators generously fund portions of the annual operating costs of the House. However, the majority of the annual operating income comes from individual and other corporate donors.

How much does it cost to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

The actual cost to operate a room at the Madison Ronald McDonald House is about $150 a night. Families are able to stay the House at no cost. If they wish to donate, the suggested donation is $10 per night. Payment is NEVER required to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. We are able to provide a “home away from home” because of the generous support of our community business and individuals. Thanks to your contributions, it is our policy that a family never be turned away because of their ability to pay.

How much does it cost to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

The actual cost to operate a room at the Madison Ronald McDonald House is about $150 a night. Families are able to stay the House at no cost. If they wish to donate, the suggested donation is $10 per night. Payment is NEVER required to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. We are able to provide a “home away from home” because of the generous support of our community business and individuals. Thanks to your contributions, it is our policy that a family never be turned away because of their ability to pay.

Who is eligible to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

To stay at the Ronald McDonald House, we have two criteria that families must meet. The first is that the patient is 18 years old or younger at the time of referral by a qualified medical facility. The second that the patient’s family live at least 35 miles away from the Ronald McDonald House.

How long do families usually stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

Stays can be as short as one night or as long as several months, and sometimes extend to a year, depending on the child’s illness and treatment.

What happens if the Ronald McDonald House is full?

Thanks to a wonderful partnership with the Best Western Plus InnTowner and the North Central Group, we are often able to accommodate additional families when our rooms are full. If our partner hotels have rooms available, we can arrange accommodation for Ronald McDonald House families to stay in one of these hotels. The North Central Group hotels include the Courtyard by Marriott (East & West), Fairfield Inn (East & West), Hampton Inn (East & West), Hilton Garden, Homewood Suites Hilton, and the Residence Inn.

How can I support a Ronald McDonald House?

You can support the Ronald McDonald House in a number of ways, and we could not operate the House without donations from individuals and groups. Click here to learn more about getting involved.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

Who can use the Ronald McDonald Family Room?

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is open to parents or adult guardians of a child hospitalized in the pediatric unit or neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at SSM Health – St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, and their guests. We welcome healthy siblings, but children under age 14 must be supervised by a parent while in the Family Room. We reserve the right to limit the number of guests per patient when the Family Room reaches capacity. No patients are permitted in the Family Room

Where is the Ronald McDonald Family Room?

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is located on the 3rd floor at SSM Health – St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison.

How can I stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Room?

If you wish to stay overnight in one of the sleep rooms notify a Family Room volunteer, nurse or hospital social worker. Your name will be added to the daily room request list. Because there are a limited number of sleep rooms, these rooms are available to families on a one-night-at-a-time basis. Please sign up by 2:00 pm each day. If you are assigned a room, you will be given information on the check-in and check-out time. The capacity of our sleep rooms is limited to two adults per room. Children are not permitted for overnight stays. If you require longer-term accommodation and live outside the greater Madison area, please contact your designated hospital social worker to inquire about a referral to the Ronald McDonald House.

What services does the Ronald McDonald Family Room provide?

The Ronald McDonald Family Room provides a welcoming, home-like environment for families, just steps away from their child in the hospital.

Our services include:

  • Four sleeping rooms for naps or overnight accommodations, each with a
  • private bath
  • Shared kitchen and dining area
  • Living room with garden view
  • Shower facilities
  • Laundry facilities
  • Computers and free WiFi
  • A quiet room

How can I support the Ronald McDonald Family Room?

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities at the Family Room. Whether you want to donate canned goods or laundry detergent, volunteer to staff the check-in desk, or make a cash donation, there are many ways you can help. Click here to learn more about getting involved.

Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

What is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program?

The 40-foot vehicles travel directly into areas where children are medically underserved, offering high-quality medical, dental or health education in partnership with Mercyhealth. The vehicle houses two patient examination rooms, a reception area, and an area for vaccine preparation.

What services does the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provide?

Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide several services based on the needs of the community including:

  • School and sports physicals
  • Primary care, well-child visits, and developmental screening
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment of chronic conditions, including asthma, depression, and obesity
  • care
  • Immunizations
  • Hemoglobin point of care testing
  • Dental care
  • Oral hygiene education
  • Asthma treatment and self-management education
  • Childhood health promotion and injury prevention education
  • Health education
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Mental health assessment and referral
  • Social service resource referral
  • Referral for specialty care

Who staffs the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

A team of medical professionals travel on the Care Mobile, including a nurse practitioner and program manager.

Where does Ronald McDonald Care Mobile operate?

The Care Mobile visits several schools as well as various other sites in five counties in Illinois, including Boone, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago, and Rock County in Wisconsin.

Do Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles only treat children?

Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide health care and health education services to children from birth to 21 years old.

Does the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program replace regular visits to a doctor or dentist?

Services provided on a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are not meant to replace regular visits to a doctor or a dentist. Rather, they provide an entry point into a regular pattern of health care for vulnerable children, with the goal of connecting the child and his or her family to a medical or dental home.

Do children or their families pay for health care services provided by the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

All services offered on Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are provided in a cost-effective manner to children and their families. No child is denied care based on ability to pay.

Who funds the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

Funding for the Care Mobile is provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison, the Mercyhealth RMH Auxiliary and the Mercyhealth Development Foundation.

How do I get care from the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

Please contact us for more information regarding appointment scheduling.

  • Care Mobile Appointments or Schedule Inquiries: 815-971-5800
  • Other Questions: Toni Ellingson, FNP/Manager, 815-971-5810
  • Donations or Event Requests: Care Mobile Coordinator, 815-971-6627