Riley Hospital To Close McDonald’s At End Of Year

The McDonald‘s at the Riley Hospital for Children is set to close Dec. 31.

riley hospital

Photo: IU Health

IU Health officials say they are trying to provide healthier food options at Riley Hospital for Children.

Patients, families and staff at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health will no longer be able to eat McDonald‘s at the hospital starting next year. The McDonald’s is set to close Dec. 31.

As the IndyStar reported in September, it is one of the only dinner options for hospital patients.

The fast food burger joint will be the only place to purchase an evening meal in the state’s largest children’s hospital until a new café opens in the Simon Family Tower some time in early 2014, hospital officials say.

A few weeks ago Riley officials decided to close the hospital cafeteria each day at 2 p.m. and not re-open for dinner. Hubbard and Cravens, which sells sandwiches and salads, closes at 6 p.m.

Hospital Chief Operating Officer Russ Williams says the hospital has been working with the Partnership for a Healthier America, and they have been implementing strict dietary regulations on the offerings at the hospital.

“We really want to comply with the guidelines that the Partnership for a Healthier America sets for anything that we offer within the walls of Riley,” Williams says.

Williams says the McDonald‘s closure will not have an effect on the hospital‘s partnership with the Ronald McDonald House.

He adds that more healthier options will be available next year including a new hospital-run food service offering in the lobby of the new Simon Family Tower, called the Red Wagon Cafe.

He says there will also be a new outside food provider sometime around mid-to-late spring 2014.

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  • JustSomeGuy

    Most of us aren’t thinking ‘Gee, I sure am glad they are making me eat healthy here at Riley’ when our son is suffering from leukemia and we dont’ know what the heck we’re going to do. We want something comforting, something we know, something that hearkens back to a normalcy that was stripped away from us in a moment. McDonald’s offered that to us when we were there for our son’s leukemia. It may seem stupid to some, but McDonald’s was a little bit of stability in an otherwise VERY unstable time. It allowed me to escape from ‘the disease’ for a few minutes each day, which meant alot. I’m sad to see it go.

  • roaminglion

    I am not, offering unhealthy food at a children’s hospital (or any hospital) is and always has been a bad idea. A hospital is about health, and it should promote healthy standards of eating.

    If McDonald’s provided you with comfort during that difficult time, I’m glad that it did and I certainly hope your son is doing OK. Also, it doesn’t sound stupid at all, I totally get it. However, that being said I think there are better ways out there for a hospital to provide a sense of normalcy to the patients and their loved ones.

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