A second local hospital in Calgary now offers a Comfort Cart, which helps provide emotional support to families seeking pediatric care for their child.

Now available at the Peter Lougheed Centre, Comfort Carts move between patient units with an assortment of items intended to help make the time in hospital easier for families. These items include bottled water and juices, granola bars and other snacks, reading materials, activity books and hygiene items, such as toothbrushes.

Comfort Carts are also available at the Foothills Medical Centre and the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

“Having this program is not just about delivering tangible items; it’s about purposefully creating a connection with and for our patients and their families during a time when it is needed most,” says Nick Thain, Senior Operating Officer, Peter Lougheed Centre.

The Comfort Cart is made possible by support from Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Alberta donors and volunteers, who circulate the carts.

“The Comfort Cart brings internationally recognized Ronald McDonald House hospitality to a child’s bedside at the hospital,” says Jason Evanson, CEO of RMHC Alberta. “Families often spend hours at the hospital. The program enables us to support more families outside of the Ronald McDonald House, and it plays an important role in enhancing family-centred care.”

Distributing the items also opens up conversations, enabling volunteers to provide personalized visiting and companionship to families.

“The volunteers are trained through RMHC Alberta and Alberta Health Services, and bring an added level of comfort to families, on top of important supplies,” says Evanson.

“By engaging with patients on a personal level, our volunteers help brighten a patient’s day, reminding them they are not alone in their journey towards recovery,” adds Thain.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta helps keep families together when they need it most. Our Houses in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Medicine Hat provide a home-away-from-home to over 1,200 families each year who must travel for their child’s vital medical treatment. By enabling families to stay together, near a hospital, Ronald McDonald House vastly improves the quality and experience of the care of the child and the wellbeing of the family, while reducing the family’s stress, sense of isolation, and financial burden.