Read the Latest
Children's Hospital is part of the UPMC family.
Be safe anytime, anywhere.
To find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 412-692-7337 or search our directory.
A resource for our network of referring physicians.
For more information about research, please call our main office at 412-692-6438.
Ranked #6 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
Altoona, Pa., – UPMC Altoona and The Mario Lemieux Foundation announced today the opening of an Austin’s Playroom at the hospital, on the fifth floor of the Outpatient Center. The playroom will serve families and their children who are visiting UPMC Altoona.
Nathalie Lemieux, chair, Austin’s Playroom Project; Mario Lemieux, chairman, Mario Lemieux Foundation; Ron McConnell, vice president of operations, UPMC Altoona.; Nancy Angus, executive director, Mario Lemieux Foundation; representatives of Sheetz, the Lead Patron; family members of Cindy Wise; and special invited guests officially opened the 800-square-foot space.
“We are so pleased to open the 33rd Austin’s Playroom,” said Mrs. Lemieux. “Our goal is to reach as many children and families as possible, and we are excited to bring Austin’s Playroom to Blair County.”
Austin’s Playroom Project was established as a result of Nathalie and Mario Lemieux’s personal experience while caring for their infant son, Austin. In 1996, Austin was born profoundly premature and spent 71 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While they were caring for Austin, there was nothing to engage his sisters, who were both toddlers at the time. It was then Mario and Nathalie realized a need for playrooms and began their plan to establish Austin’s Playroom Project.
Contributors to the UPMC Altoona Austin’s Playroom are:
“Austin’s Playroom quickly becomes a vital part of each hospital, filling an important need for families with young children,” said Art DeMarsico, D.O., a UPMC surgeon, playroom advocate and donor to both the Mario Lemieux Foundation and UPMC Altoona. “As a father, I understand the value and assistance a resource like Austin’s Playroom offers families who visit loved ones in the hospital or have family members undergoing surgery. This is a comforting space and brings a sense of normalcy to an otherwise challenging situation for young children. I’m proud to support this initiative.”
“Each year, about 8,000 children visit UPMC Altoona’s emergency department,” said Tim Balconi, president of the UPMC Altoona Foundation. “On average each year, more than 500 children receive care in our pediatrics unit and about 300 children have outpatient procedures in the UPMC Altoona Surgery Center. Now, when families visit and are accompanied by additional children, the playroom provides a safe, family friendly environment.”
Each Austin’s Playroom features comfortable child-sized furnishings, as well as games, toys, books, electronics and child-friendly artwork. Mrs. Lemieux uniquely and personally designs each playroom. Each playroom also features a train table, wall-mounted games, sand table, large screen TV and much more, inside a brightly painted room.
“It’s for children of all ages from toddler and up,” McConnell said. “It’s a place where a child and a supervising adult can go and expend energy through playing games, such as bubble hockey, or a quiet place to read a book.”
The gift of an Austin’s Playroom is a gift that keeps giving, McConnell explained, as the Project provides annual inspections and maintenance support.
The Mario Lemieux Foundation was created in 1993 after hockey legend and NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux survived Hodgkin’s disease. The Lemieux Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient care, as well as Austin’s Playroom Project.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.