Visiting Pittsburgh & Morgantown’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®

October 14th, 2022
Filed Under: Foundation | Philanthropy

In 2015 during the We Believe Campaign, the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation sought to expand the reach of our philanthropic partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities®. To do so, the RMHC® Endowment was created. For the last three years, The Alpha Delta Pi Foundation has used this fund to make grants to local RMHC Chapters across the globe in support of their special projects to help meet the unique needs of the families in residence.

One of our 2020 grant recipients was RMHC of Pittsburgh and Morgantown (PA and WV) in support of their Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, which provides immunizations, screening for food insecurity, and referrals to additional area resources. Earlier this year, Foundation Trustee Karen Elliott Galentine, Alpha Upsilon–West Virginia, witnessed the Foundation’s impact on her community when she visited this Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.

Karen described the 40-foot vehicle as “huge” and “physically imposing” but thoughtfully designed in every way. It’s a place made just for kids with one exam room made to look like a Pittsburgh Penguins themed igloo and another filled with smiling fish swimming all around. This attention to detail makes the experience less intimidating for children who are usually anxious or stressed when visiting the doctor.

Karen was especially impressed with the team’s passion for their work. She shared, “Everyone associated with the Care Mobile, from the Doctors, PAs, nurses, and even the driver, could tell you stories about the families who have visited. They knew exactly why they were doing this work every day and could answer any question we had for them.”

By visiting the Care Mobile, Karen also learned how RMHC serves families beyond the traditional houses: “This provides the healthcare families need and takes it to a community that may be void of other options. Its not easy for some people to get to the doctor. Parents can’t always take off work or they may have other scheduling conflicts, and instead, this brings the doctor right to them in their community.”

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh provides services to 1,700 patients every year, including wellness visits, immunizations, sports physicals, dental exams, asthma care, and sick visits. In doing so, they are bringing important medical care to Pittsburgh and its surrounding underserved communities. Since Karen lives just outside of Pittsburgh, this experience and grant hit especially close to home for her: “It makes you feel really good about being a small piece of something needed in your community.”

When asked why the RMHC Endowment is important, Karen shared, “When we signed on with RMHC as our philanthropic partner, we understood it was more than just the RMHC Chapters who happened to be near a collegiate chapter or alumnae association. The RMHC Endowment Fund helps fulfill that promise.”

Since 2019, the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation has granted more than $80,000 in grants to local RMHC Chapters across the country. We look forward to announcing this year’s grant recipients later this month as we continue celebrating our 43-year partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities.