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Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Room Expansion Completed

by on April 24, 2013 6:30 AM

After almost a year, the second phase of expansion at the Mount Nittany Medical Center emergency wing is now complete and the entire facility is open for patients.

The 56,000 square-foot addition includes 48 new rooms for patients complete with private restrooms, two trauma bays, a new rooftop helicopter pad, a sexual assault nurse examiner room and a children’s play area. There are also four private patient rooms designed for patients with behavioral health needs and and a new MRI suite.

“The emergency department is truly a community asset. Rather than just building a bigger facility to accommodate the growing number of emergency department patients in our area, we chose to build a better facility,” said Theodore Ziff, the medical director of the emergency department, in a statement. “Our new emergency department features an innovative design, new technologies and special amenities to offer the best care for our community.”

In 2011, more than 50,000 patients received care from the emergency center. By 2020, that number is projected to rise to 85,000. The large volume of patients helped make the expansion a priority.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation created Austin’s Playroom, one of the new hospital additions that opened this week. The playroom will serve as a waiting area for children. It was designed by hockey legend Mario Lemieux and funded by private donations.

“Austin’s Playroom Project was started as a result of my own personal experience while caring for my infant son Austin,” according to Mario’s wife Nathalie Lemieux on the foundation’s website.

“As the chair of Austin’s Playroom Project, our goal is to benefit families and improve the quality of a child’s hospital experience whether as a visitor or patient by establishing cheerful playrooms that are safe, calming and comfortable. Family centered care is very important, as well as part of the Lemieux Foundation’s mission, and each Austin’s Playroom has been created to do just that.”

Austin’s Playroom at the Mount Nittany Medical Center is the 28th such facility created since the foundation started in 2000.

Kevin Horne is the Managing Editor of Onward State and frequent contributor to He is also a Penn State senior, majoring in journalism and political science.
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