Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center recently announced that the hospital has been chosen as the 2013 recipient of the Mario Lemieux Foundation’s Austin’s Playroom Project.
The Austin’s Playroom Project was started by Nathalie Lemieux, wife of hockey great Mario Lemieux, following the birth of their son Austin who was born prematurely and spent 71 days in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Pittsburgh.
On the Mario Lemieux Foundation website Nathalie Lemieux writes, “While we were caring for Austin, there was no place to provide a comfortable calming environment and engage his two sisters, Lauren and Stephanie, who were both toddlers at the time. It was on my first Mother’s Day with Austin that Mario and I realized a need for playrooms and began to craft our plan to someday raise the necessary funds to do so in western Pennsylvania and beyond.”
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s new playroom will be the 29th playroom established by the Mario Lemieux Foundation. “We are so excited and so honored to have been chosen,” says Susan Mann, President of the Conemaugh Health Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to Nathalie Lemieux and to all of the donors who support the Austin’s Playroom project.”
The project will focus on renovations to play areas in Conemaugh Memorial’s Maternity department. “We have a beautiful building but could definitely use more color and more kid and family friendly amenities in our area,” says April Behory, RN, MSN, Director of Women/ Child services at Conemaugh Memorial. “As a Level 3 (highest level) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, we have many babies who remain with us for long periods of time. This playroom will be of great benefit to the brothers and sisters who come to visit, along with their parents. We can’t wait to begin planning!”
The anticipated completion date for Conemaugh Memorial’s Austin’s Playroom project is early 2014.
For more information on the Austin’s Playroom Project, visit www.mariolemieux.org.