Program areas at RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF THE OZARKS
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, Inc. (RMHC) (formerly Helping Parents Cope, Inc.) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children and families in the Ozarks. Our first core program is the Ronald McDonald House, where we provide a "home away from home", hope and comfort for families of seriously ill and injured children receiving medical treatment in Springfield. Our two Ronald McDonald Houses have embraced 14,687 families during a time of unspeakable hardship, welcoming 368 families in 2021. The first Ronald McDonald House opened near Cox South Hospital on March 20, 1988. Our second House opened on the 6th floor of Mercy Kids on November 30, 2012. To further our Ronald McDonald House mission, staff and volunteers have proudly worked in partnership with Mercy Kids since 2010 to provide individually-packaged snacks and food items for families with children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Unit. Each week, the Ronald McDonald House delivers items to each kitchen and nourishment cart to help alleviate the additional financial burden on families. In 2013 we expanded these services to include a nourishment basket in the Labor and Delivery Bereavement Room. In 2014, the Mercy Sleep Lab and NICU were added to the areas we supply with snack items. The Happy Wheels Program was launched in January 2014 for the primary purpose of ensuring that all families needing the Houses are learning about our services. In 2021, more than 2,000 care bags and snack items were provided to families and children within Cox South and Mercy departments that refer to the Ronald McDonald Houses. Our second core program is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a mobile dental clinic fondly known as the "Tooth Truck". We provide dental treatment and prevention education for at risk children, primarily in school-based settings and a qualified child is never turned away due to lack of Medicaid coverage. Throughout the process, our goal is to complete every childs treatment plan and do everything possible to increase each childs self esteem. The Tooth Truck is a joint project between RMHC of the Ozarks Inc and the Tooth Truck, Inc. and has provided 62,276 dental appointments for 29,078 children since July 8, 2002. This dental treatment is valued at $20,024,639. In 2021, the Tooth Truck provided $1.45 million in dental treatment for 1,675 children through 2,359 dental appointments. The Tooth Truck launched a daily onsite Tooth-brushing Program for early childhood education students at one school in 2011. By the end of 2020, 5,146 children were participating in the program at 31 schools and 27 nonprofit organizations. The program was formally named the Healthy Smiles Academy in 2015 and will continue to be expanded over 3 years, thanks to a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health in late 2014. In 2021, the Healthy Smiles Academy was suspended due to COVID-19.
The Grantmaking Program provides financial assistance to the operations of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile through The Tooth Truck, Inc.