Regence helps Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho reach more families

By Regence
November 04, 2022
Grape Stomp in Idaho

Nearly a decade ago, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho was working hard to serve Idaho families with sick or seriously injured children, but they did not have the reach or visibility to expand their services to more families across the state. In 2014, Regence BlueShield of Idaho recognized an opportunity to help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho raise awareness of their mission outside of the Boise area and designated them as an official community partner organization. This partnership exemplified Regence BlueShield of Idaho's commitment to promoting the health and well-being of our communities, both directly through our health plan and more broadly through community partnerships.

Expanding to Eastern Idaho

When Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho partnered with Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) to expand support to more families outside of the Boise area, Regence sponsored a new family room. Rather than a stand-alone house near the medical center, the family room is located inside the medical center to increase accessibility and bring families even closer to their children who are receiving care. The Ronald McDonald Family Room in Idaho Falls offers comfort and support to families whose children are receiving medical treatment at EIRMC and is equipped with four sleeping rooms, a kitchen, laundry facilities and other amenities.

Regence employees volunteer and donate

To further aid families who find themselves caring for a sick or injured child, Regence empowered its employees through various volunteer opportunities in addition to sponsoring its expansion in Idaho. Inspired by Ronald McDonald House Charities’ mission of providing a home away from home for families who need it, Regence employees have tracked 190 volunteer hours and donated nearly $9,000 over the last five years.

Director of Community and Business Relations Maureen Hamilton says of the partnership with RMHC, “We’re proud that our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities has enabled them to expand their reach. We sometimes have to turn people away for volunteerism. During the pandemic, the families didn’t leave the house, so every other Friday we would pick up coffee and breakfast burritos and deliver breakfast on Fridays—we continued this throughout the pandemic. We’ve recently re-started our monthly breakfast sessions, and the next one is coming up on Dec. 2.”

Miriam running
Running to get more grapes

Annual Grape Stomp raises fun and funds

Regence recently sponsored the 3rd Annual "Stomp Like Lucy" Grape Stomp at Kerry Hill Winery to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho. Employees from Regence came out in force to compete in the grape stomping competition, in which teams of two raced to see who could get the most juice the fastest. Lisa Donnellon, business development executive of Regence BlueShield of Idaho, said of the Grape Stomp, “This was my 3rd year assisting with this event, and each year it gets better! I enjoy supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho—they do so much for our families in need. This is a fun event and a great way to give back to the community.”