Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: April 23, 2010
Moon Twp., PA (April 23, 2010) — Heritage Valley Sewickley unveiled “Austin’s Playroom” in their newly renovated and expanded Patricia S. Snyder Emergency Department on Thursday, April 22.
|Pictured are Rosemary Nolan, Heritage Valley Health System Chief Operating Officer, Austin Lemieux, and Norm Mitry, President and CEO of Heritage Valley Health System.
Austin’s Playroom is a specially designed, child-friendly waiting area for pediatric patients and their siblings, which was constructed through a gift from the Mario Lemieux Foundation and its initiative, Austin’s Playroom Project. The playroom is named after Austin Lemieux, the son of former Pittsburgh Penguins star and current Penguins owner, Mario Lemieux, and his wife Nathalie.
“It’s a difficult time for the entire family when facing an emergency situation,” explained Nancy Angus, executive director, The Mario Lemieux Foundation. “Providing a positive environment for child visitors is an essential complement to medical treatment when addressing the quality of a child and family hospital experience. That’s why we create Austin’s Playrooms.”
Austin’s Playroom Project seeks to benefit families and improve the quality of a child’s hospital experience whether as a visitor or patient by furnishing cheerful playrooms that are safe, calming and comfortable. In just 11 years, Austin’s Playroom Project has raised nearly $1 million dollars and committed to creating 21 Austin’s Playrooms. Austin’s Playroom at Heritage Valley Sewickley is their 18th playroom.
“We were very pleased to be selected as a site for one of Austin’s Playrooms during the capital campaign for our new emergency department at Heritage Valley Sewickley,” said Norm Mitry, president and CEO of Heritage Valley Health System. “Through the generosity of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, this special room will provide children with a positive distraction during their time in the emergency department and help reduce the anxiety levels of these young patients and their families.”
Austin’s Playroom was the final piece of an expansion and renovation project at Heritage Valley Sewickley that included a new lobby and outpatient test center and tripled the size of the Patricia S. Snyder Emergency Department to 22,000 square feet. The new emergency department features state-of-the-art private treatment rooms with computers to access electronic medical records, diagnostic services within the department, fully equipped trauma rooms and additional nurses’ stations to facilitate patient observation and interaction.
“Every Austin’s Playroom is like a dream come true,” added Mrs. Nathalie Lemieux. “We are so happy to play a part in helping families who have children in the emergency department and we hope Austin’s Playroom makes their experience a little easier. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible.”