Mission & History
Our mission is to create, find and support programs that improve the health and well-being of children in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.
At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, we believe in fostering the well-being and progress of young lives. Through our programs, we’re helping to ensure a brighter future for the generation of tomorrow.
RMHC supports the critical needs of children through its family-centered programs:
- The Ronald McDonald House program provides support and resources that helps keep families close. This proximity helps families participate in important medical decisions. Our first Ronald McDonald House opened in 2016 at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Our second Ronald McDonald House opened in 2021 at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
- The Ronald McDonald Family Room program, located in the hospital just steps away from a child’s bedside, provides a place for families to relax, regroup and regain the strength they need to support their child. Our first Ronald McDonald Family Room opened in 2011 at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Our second Family Room opened in 2013 at Mercy NWA in Rogers, Arkansas.
- The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program brings critical dental services directly to children who live in vulnerable communities. This state-of-the-art vehicle not only provides screenings, like many mobile health units but also provides treatment and referrals for ongoing medical or dental care. Our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has been serving children in the greater Springdale, Arkansas area since 2011.
RMHC of Arkoma has been fulfilling its mission, with the help of the Northwest Arkansas and River Valley communities, since 1999. In that time, we have served over 17,000 children and families thanks to your support!
When an unlikely partnership was formed in Philadelphia in 1974 between a doctor, an NFL team, and a restaurant chain, no one could have imagined the dream of Dr. Audrey Evans for a “home-away-from-home” for families of seriously ill children would grow to become an international phenomenon.
Working as a pediatric oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Evans saw families spend night after night in the hospital while their children received life-saving medical treatment. She knew there had to be a better way, and envisioned a simple house where families could stay during these stressful and uncertain times.
At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles were raising funds in support of player Fred Hill, whose daughter, Kim, was in treatment for leukemia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. When the Eagles General Manager Jimmy Murray approached St. Christopher’s about making a donation, Dr. Lawrence Naiman suggested there was an even greater need for funds resting with Dr. Evans.
Jimmy Murray met Dr. Evans and quickly learned of her concept of a home for families. He reached out to McDonald’s with the idea that they could offer the proceeds from their Shamrock Shake sales to benefit this new house. McDonald’s agreed, and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House was born on October 15, 1974. Today, there are 365 Ronald McDonald Houses, 225 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, and 53 Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles in 43 countries and regions.