Austin’s Military Playroom Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton
The Mario Lemieux Foundation will establish an Austin’s Playroom in the new Naval Hospital on Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, CA. The opening is scheduled for January 2014.
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton is a new, state of the art, 500,000 sf. medical hospital being constructed on Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton. When complete, the new four-level hospital will include 62 inpatient beds, 200 exam rooms, nearly 100 outpatient procedure rooms, 2,000 outpatient departments, ancillary departments, emergency care, primary care, specialty care clinics, and support spaces for over 75,000 active duty Marines, veterans and wounded warriors in the Southern California area. This hospital will replace the existing outdated hospital, and the hospital will likely be awarded LEED® Gold certification.
A 1,300 square foot playroom will be established in the new facility that will accommodate children ages three to 12. Aspects will include toys, games, books and activities for young children and a tween area featuring gaming systems, air hockey and bubble hockey tables. The name of this new space will be Austin’s Playroom.
Austin’s Military Playroom History:
The Mario Lemieux Foundation created Austin’s Playroom Project following Nathalie and Mario Lemieux’s personal experience while caring for their profoundly premature infant son at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. As they were tending to young Austin, there was no place, or no one, to engage the lively minds and provide a comfortable calming environment for his sisters. It was then that Nathalie devised this idea to someday raise funds and develop sibling and patient playrooms in medical facilities in the Pittsburgh region. As the project grew, Nathalie and Mario recognized how playrooms could also benefit the children of our veterans and active duty warriors.
The first Austin’s Military Playroom was donated to the Warrior Transition Unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, in 2011. The success of this playroom prompted a continued relationship between the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the United States Navy. Austin’s Military Playroom Project is an initiative of the Mario Lemieux Foundation that creates playrooms for military personnel and their families. By joining forces with the military, the Mario Lemieux Foundation creates playrooms that provide comfort, warmth and love for these very special military families.
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.