On Purpose with RMHC NY

By : Mona Lipson


As our On Purpose series continues, we celebrate our commitment to building a purpose driven company. Here, we sit down with esteemed nonprofit and partner, Dr. Ruth C. Browne, president and chief executive officer of Ronald McDonald House New York, to explain what it means to them to align our values. 

Can you share the mission of RMHC?

RMHC is a global network of local Chapters that has been helping millions of families with sick children find comfort and support when they need it most. Since 1974, RMHC has created programs that strengthen families during difficult times. RMHC provides vital resources and compassionate care to children and their families being served by leading hospitals worldwide.

Ronald McDonald House New York provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive, and caring environment that encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems.

How do you promote wellness within families?

We offer an extensive lineup of activities and events for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. While the COVID-19 crisis shuttered in-person activities, RMH-NY reimagined their programs and services. Leveraging digital tools, we ensured immunocompromised children and families remained safe and had continued access. We work with our community, volunteers, and generous donors to offer memorable and enriching experiences. Thanks to this generous support, our programs are available at no cost to families.

        • Wellness Programs: Motivated by the ethos of “care for the caregiver,” our wellness program is home to over 25 weekly wellness activities ranging from self-care workshops to mitigating stress and tension to personal training sessions tailored to caregivers’ unique needs and fitness goals. The Blavatnik Family Foundation Wellness Center offers a serene, peaceful space to have a cup of tea or coffee, a fresh smoothie or healthy snack, read in the sunshine, or simply take a rare moment to oneself. 
        • Meal Programs: Our stocked kitchen and volunteer-made meals provide healthy meals so families don’t have to worry about breakfast, lunch, or dinner so families can focus on being with their child during treatment.
        • Great Days Program: We endeavor to provide our patients, siblings, and caregivers with truly memorable experiences at Ronald McDonald House New York. Through the Great Days program, we bring families on incredible donated trips in New York City and beyond. These trips allow all patients, siblings, and caregivers—regardless of age or background— to get out of the House, forget about the hospital, and make long-lasting, happy memories together.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Ronald McDonald House New York is a place of love and joy. No matter what the families journey is our job is to provide incredible and meaningful family centric memories for the health and healing journey. That’s exactly what we do and it’s a gift to be part of that journey no matter what the part is you play. In my role, I get to cast what the future looks like. In the case of Ronald McDonald House-New York; that future is a health equity future that expands our reach and the depth of our programming.

Can you share how you came to know the VidMob family?
I participated on a COVID-19 task force together with Burr Purnell, the Executive Director of Social Good for VidMob, and when I heard about his work I knew it was something we should try to get involved with.

Can you describe what the process of working with VidMob was like from your perspective?
It was an honor to work with VidMob. They selected a team and project manager just for us, comprised of absolutely incredible talent. They not only worked with us as we launched out first ever Virtual Gala but they also made sure to teach us along the way. The end results helped us to exceed our goals, increased our internal skill sets and helped us to build capacity around data-informed video with our new social assets. We are so grateful that VidMob gave us this opportunity that has really changed the way we see and use video.

What are your hopes as you look toward the next year?
After an incredible 2 1/2 years of a horrible pandemic, I look forward to expanded social engagement that will deepen our collective creativity and allow us to focus our best talent on the most seemingly intractable health problems.