Family Unit Receives Grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities

The Family Unit at Elk Regional Health Center was recently the grateful recipient of a generous $10,000 grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Mid-Penn Region and a matching $5,000 grant from the national Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The $15,000 grant allowed for the purchase of a transport incubator for The Family Unit, an addition that will enhance Elk Regional’s ability to safely transport babies born via Caesarean section from the operating room to The Family Unit. The incubator can also be used to safely transport newborns that need to be transferred to a neo-natal ICU via ambulance or helicopter.

“It is absolutely wonderful to see this money used locally,” said Linda Hoffman, the treasurer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Mid-Penn Region and owner of the St. Marys McDonald's restaruant. “The grant money we award is funded in large part through the coin boxes at the cash register. People in the St. Marys area always give very generously, so it’s wonderful to be able to fund a grant request for our local community hospital.”

“We are grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for their generous gift,” said Sam MacDonald, Elk Regional’s Director of Business and Fund Development.

“Elk Regional has recently made major investments in 3D and 4D ultrasound and a new fetal heart monitoring system. By next summer, we will have a brand-new, state-of-the-art maternity unit. Thanks to Ronald McDonald House Charities, we can also offer our littlest patients the safety and security of a new transport incubator.”

Transport incubators are important because newborns must be kept warm at all times. When babies become too cold, they can develop respiratory problems and problems with blood sugar. Elk Regional’s new transport incubator allows caregivers to control the temperature and humidity inside the unit, which creates an ideal environment for the newborn while allowing for continual monitoring of the baby’s vital signs.

“The priority of our physicians and nurses has always been to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for our newborns,” said Mary Helen Coroso, RN, the nurse manager of Elk Regional’s Family Unit. “The new transport incubator will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care to families who come to Elk Regional.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 54 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-supported programs provide a bridge to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit them online at

Caption: From left are Linda Hoffman, the treasurer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Mid-Penn Region; Sam MacDonald, Director of Business and Fund Development at Elk Regional; Mary Helen Coroso, interim manager of The Family Unit; Laura Lorenzo, RN; Sara Myers, RN, manager of The Family Unit; and Betsy Cheatle, RN.

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