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Upstate University Hospital employees use CNY Ronald McDonald House for sleeping accommodations during COVID-19 crisis

By Eric Reinhardt (


Upstate University Hospital is using the CNY Ronald McDonald House to provide emergency sleeping accommodations for its COVID-19 front-line health-care workers. (Photo credit: Upstate Medical University website)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The CNY Ronald McDonald House is now providing emergency sleeping accommodations for the front-line health-care workers of Upstate University Hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York (RMHC of CNY) has temporarily shifted its program-care model and repurposed the CNY Ronald McDonald House to help support the hospital workers treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Upstate Medical University said.

The charitable organization temporarily turned over occupancy of the CNY Ronald McDonald House, located at 1110 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse, to Upstate University Hospital for the emergency sleep accommodations. With the exception of a “modest” cleaning fee, neither Upstate nor those who stay at the Ronald McDonald House will have to pay a usage fee, Upstate said.

“We greatly appreciate the support of one of our community’s most cherished agencies — Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York — for making its House available to our staff,” Dr. Robert Corona, CEO of Upstate University Hospital, said in a statement. “A comfortable, safe place to retire to at the end of a shift on the frontlines of the COVID -19 fight goes a long way for our employees. Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House board members and staff. We are grateful for their generosity.”

In response to the pandemic, RMHC of CNY had previously closed the CNY Ronald McDonald House to guest families and volunteers.

“While we believe that temporarily closing our House was the most responsible way to help protect our guest families, it has now presented us with a unique opportunity to contribute to the local fight against COVID-19,” Beth Trunfio, executive director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York, said. “Local front-line health care professionals are working long hours during these uncertain times and we are proud to be able to provide them with a place of respite. It is our profound privilege to be working together through this crisis and beyond.”

While the CNY Ronald McDonald House remains closed to guest families, RMHC of CNY continues to support families with seriously ill children. The nonprofit made alternative accommodations at a local hotel for the guest families that were staying at the CNY Ronald McDonald House at the onset of the pandemic, and is providing the families with daily meal vouchers and checking in with them to offer support. RMHC of CNY is covering the associated costs.

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