BEND, Ore. -

St. Charles Health System is pleased to announce it has contributed $4,000 to the Bend Ronald McDonald House to provide security fencing, lighting and surveillance cameras

The Bend Ronald McDonald House provides lodging and support services to families whose children are receiving treatment at St. Charles Bend.  Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Oregon prides itself on providing a calm, secure and compassionate environment for families.

“We are proud that 99 percent of the families we serve are St. Charles families,” said Kristy Krugh, executive director of the Bend Ronald McDonald House. “With a modest investment, we will ‘harden’ our facility, significantly decrease our vulnerability and continue to provide the secure environment our guest families, staff and volunteers so deserve.”

The Community Benefit Department strives to select programs and initiatives that align with the health system’s strategic direction.

“The Bend Ronald McDonald House is an invaluable resource for our patients and their families,” said Alisha Fehrenbacher, director of community  strategies. “Working together, we can help ensure underserved families in Central Oregon have access to the services they need.”

 St. Charles Health System also has contributed $4,500 to the Oregon Mountain River Chapter of the American Red Cross in support of its disaster response operations.

The Oregon Mountain River Chapter of the American Red Cross is responsible for providing disaster services in six Central Oregon counties — Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wheeler, Grant and Harney — and to the Federated Tribes of Warm Springs.

“The Red Cross receives no government support, depending entirely on private donations,” said Paul Dickinson, interim director of the Oregon Mountain River Chapter of the American Red Cross. “We operate as a highly efficient non-profit, with 94 cents of every dollar going to program.  All disaster response services are free for those in need.”

The chapter responds to a disaster — usually a single-family house fire — every nine days, meeting the essential needs of food, clothing, shelter and, when necessary, counseling services of any person in need. This year, the chapter responded to 39 disasters, including the wildfires at Warm Springs.

“The American Red Cross plays an instrumental role in ensuring the safety and well being of our community during a disaster,” said Fehrenbacher. “Providing funding for the Oregon Mountain River Chapter will help support its efforts to take care of persons in need.”