Thursday, July 9, 2009
A new Austin’s playroom at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC opens Friday.
The playroom is part of the Mario Lemieux’s Foundation Playroom Project that funds playrooms in hospitals named after the former Penguin’s star’s son. But unlike many of their playrooms this one is not for the siblings of the sick child. "Its for sick patients who will come down from their room just to escape, just to be a child for a little while,'' said Foundation Director Nancy Angus.
There are thirteen such playrooms in the hospital. Its the largest of the playrooms and is accessible through public spaces so it can be used by patients throughout the building.
The other playrooms are in wards or aimed at specific populations like teens.
Denise Esposto runs the playrooms at the hospital. "We know that if children are encouraged to get out of bed and play that it also helps with their recovery so its one of our jobs to keep children on the track developmentally," she said.
The playroom is filled with toys, books, computers, TVs and a fish tank.