Give us a little history of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Bismarck’s mission is to improve the lives of children and their families. We incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1989 and opened the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in July of 1992. The Ronald McDonald House is our cornerstone program and provides temporary housing at little or no cost to the families of seriously ill children receiving medical treatment in Bismarck. Since our opening 25 years ago, we have provided a “home away from home” to over 4,600 families. Each year we give comfort and care to approximately 200 families—keeping them together when they need each other the most.
In an effort to help even more children, our Board of Directors brought a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to western North Dakota in January of 2012. The mission of the Care Mobile is to provide desperately needed oral health care to underserved children in their own neighborhoods in western North Dakota. The Care Mobile brings the dental care directly to the school-based or school-linked community setting, breaking down barriers to care. The Care Mobile treats patients ages 0 through 21 who do not have a regular dentist or who have not seen a dentist in the past two years. The Care Mobile includes two patient exam/treatment rooms, a laboratory, reception, and medical records areas. Services provided on the Care Mobile include diagnostic, preventive, restorative, and referrals as needed. The Care Mobile is staffed by a dentist, dental hygienist, and dental assistant licensed to practice in North Dakota and contracted through Bridging the Dental Gap, another Bismarck not-for-profit organization.
We also launched a School Based Sealant (SBS) Program two years ago in cooperation with the North Dakota State Oral Health Department and a Health Resources Services Administration Grant. This SBS Program complements the Care Mobile program, with a registered dental hygienist visiting schools before a Care Mobile visit, providing preventive sealant and fluoride varnish treatments, as well as screening for follow up treatment on the Care Mobile. Most dental diseases are preventable and this program focuses on prevention. Medicaid and insurance are billed, but no child is denied care due to inability to pay. We strive to reach children who have no other means to access oral health care. The majority of the children seen are uninsured or on Medicaid and unable to find a dental provider in their area that accepts Medicaid. The Care Mobile complements and does not replace services in the community.
How are you different from other organizations like yours?
The Ronald McDonald House was the first organization in western North Dakota to provide temporary housing for the families of hospitalized patients. And while other organizations now offer housing, we are unique in that we are the only one that is operated solely for the families of pediatric patients, ages 0-21.
How can people contact you?
There are several ways to contact us, including:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ronald McDonald House)
email@example.com (Ronald McDonald Care Mobile)
Mail: Ronald McDonald House Charities
609 N. 7th Street
PO Box 7323
Bismarck, ND 58501
How can people donate or get involved?
We welcome monetary donations as well as items from our “wish list” which is posted on our website. And, operating 365 days a year, we are also always looking for additional volunteers to work four hour shifts during the day, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays. The volunteer application is also posted on the website for volunteers 18 or older.