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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Receives $500,000 Pledge for New Family Wellness Center From General Nutrition Centers

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation  announced today that the General Nutrition Centers (“GNC”) Live Well Foundation  has pledged $500,000 toward the creation of the GNC Family Wellness Center slated to be part of the new Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC campus opening in 2009. With the new center, Children’s will be among the first of its peers to offer an on-site gym and recreation facility for parents of patients, as well as for hospital staff.

“GNC shares Children’s Hospital’s commitment to health and well-being, so this is a very fitting pledge for us to make,” said Joe Fortunato, President and CEO of General Nutrition Centers, Inc. “The new GNC Family Wellness Center gives us the opportunity to have an impact on the quality of life of the parents and hospital staff who focus so much of their time on taking care of the children.”

Said Tony Kuniak, Vice President of GNC Live Well Foundation, “To us, ‘Living Well’ means taking care of yourself through nutrition, exercise and supplementation. The GNC Family Wellness Center will go a long way toward helping people pursue ‘living well’ as one of their personal goals.”

While other hospitals offer rehabilitation areas for patients or fitness centers for employees, Children’s administrators believe that those facilities fail to address the needs of patients’ parents, who face a difficult role during a child’s hospitalization.

“Parents are essential members of the team that is working toward the child’s recovery, yet often they also are trying to keep up with work responsibilities and the care of their other children and family members,” said Children’s President and CEO Roger Oxendale, who is himself a father and dedicated long-distance runner. “In addition, this helps our staff, who give their all during the workday. Access to a full-service wellness center on the hospital campus will make it easier for them to maintain their commitment to their own health.”

The plans for the GNC Family Wellness Center at the new Children’s Hospital campus include workout areas for group and individual exercise, free weights, circuit training equipment, an evaluation room for fitness consultations, and locker/shower facilities for men and women.

GNC has supported Children’s since 2004 through its corporate charitable arm, the GNC Live Well Foundation. Its anchor fundraising event is the GNC Charity Golf Outing, which is sponsored by GNC and organized by GNC employees each fall.

With the new 10-acre Lawrenceville campus, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will be able to accommodate many of its inpatients’ parents in what is known as the Plaza Building. This building will be connected to the hospital and the research facility by a covered walkway. In it will be parent amenities, including sleeping rooms, and the new GNC Family Wellness Center.

GNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products; including vitamin, mineral, herbal and other specialty supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products. GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States (including more than 1,000 franchise and 1,200 Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 48 international markets. The company-which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well-also offers products and product information online at

Since 1890, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has been a pediatric teaching hospital with a charitable mission, serving the western half of Pennsylvania. Children’s provides family-centered care in nearly 500,000 annual patient visits. Recognized among the elite pediatric facilities, Children’s has been named one of 20 Child Health Research Centers by the National Institutes of Health, and among the top pediatric hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report  and CHILD magazine.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation  is the sole fund-raising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. The Foundation exists to provide financial support for the hospital’s mission of excellence in patient care, teaching and research.

Learn more information about Children’s new hospital campus.


Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,
Rachel Petrucelli, 412-586-6330 or 877-247-4483

Last Update
August 2, 2013
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Last Update
August 2, 2013