Lemieux Foundation Opens 36th Austin’s Playroom at UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 23, 2018 – The UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton hosted the dedication of its Austin’s Playroom on Friday, marking the opening of the 36th Austin’s Playroom.

Austin’s Playrooms 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 Playrooms.

Each Austin’s Playroom features comfortable child-sized furnishings, as well as games, toys, books, electronics and child-friendly artwork. Nathalie Lemieux uniquely and personally designs each playroom, which features an iPad table, wall-mounted games, large screen TV and much more, inside a brightly painted room.

In August 2017, UPMC unveiled the UPMC Outpatient Center at Hampton — a first-of-its-kind facility in the region — to serve Hampton, Allison Park and northern communities with delivery of coordinated primary health care for children and adults. The center offers on-site medical services seven days a week with same-day appointments available for primary care and comprehensive medical services for patients of all ages.

The UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton’s Austin’s Playroom was established by a generous donation from the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association (GPADA).

UPMC representatives joined Mario and Nathalie Lemieux, Nancy Angus, executive director of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Dan Wind, V.P., GPADA and invited guests to officially dedicate the space. 

“It is donations like the one from the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association that allow the Lemieux Foundation to continue to build playrooms throughout western Pennsylvania,” said Angus. “We are honored to have their support.” 

Wind noted, “We are proud to be a part of making another Austin’s Playroom possible through the generosity of our dealers, sponsors and the public who attended the Red CARpet Charity Premiere of the Pittsburgh International Auto Show.”

“The presence of Austin’s Playroom in the UPMC Outpatient Center at Hampton gives our patients and families a bright and comfortable place to play and have fun, with the goal of reducing their stress while waiting for doctor visits and procedures,” said Ann Menzel, M.D., Children’s Community Pediatrics.