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For Immediate Release

One of the Nation's First Summer Camps for Heart Patients Will Honor Its Founder, a Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Cardiologist


WHO: William Neches, MD, a cardiologist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the founder of Children's Heart Camp

WHAT: Children's annual Heart Camp, which is one of the first in the nation dedicated solely to children with heart disease, is being renamed in honor of Dr. Neches, who is retiring this month after 33 years as a cardiologist at Children's. Dr. Neches was the chief of Cardiology at Children's from 1994-2000 and has served as the physician director of Informatics since then.

Heart Camp, co-sponsored by Children's and the American Heart Association, is being held Tuesday, June 14 - Saturday, June 18, 2005. During a dinner and ceremony on Thursday, June 16, 2005, Heart Camp will officially be renamed the Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Children.

Heart camp offers campers ages 8-16 a chance to enjoy a typical summer camp experience with peers who share similar medical experiences.

WHY: Dr. Neches founded Heart Camp in 1991 and served as medical director of camp until 2003. His vision of Heart Camp was one where children with heart disease could to have a typical summer camp experience without being self-conscious about their medical conditions, scars and medications. For more than three decades, Dr. Neches has been known at Children's for his friendly manner with patients, who all refer to him simply as "Bill."

Of the more than 150 campers and counselors who attend, all are patients who have heart disease. The camp includes sessions called "Ask the Counselor" and "Ask the Doctor/Nurse/Pharmacist," which offer campers an opportunity to ask any questions they want about their conditions. There also are a variety of activities the campers take part in, including an obstacle course known as the "Trail of Courage."

WHEN: Thursday, June 16, 2005
6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Camp Kon-O-Kwee, Fombell, Pa.

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Neches or for directions to Heart Camp, please contact the Public and Government Affairs Department at 412-692-5016.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
June 17, 2008
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Last Update
June 17, 2008