Funding Will Benefit Down Syndrome, Music Therapy, and Behavioral Health Programs
PITTSBURGH — UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation today announced it has received a $2.5 million gift from philanthropists Robert A. and Christine J. Pietrandrea to benefit UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. This significant contribution will support the establishment of the Endowed Medical Director for the Down Syndrome Center, the addition of a new music therapist and endowed funds for the hospital’s music therapy program, and behavioral health resources.
“The positions and programs we have decided to support hold special meaning for me and my family,” said Bob Pietrandrea. “Our gift to the Down Syndrome Center is made in honor of our amazing nephew, Adam, who has Down syndrome. I decided to dedicate our gift to Music Therapy to my wife, Chris, who has a profound love and talent for music.”
The Down Syndrome Center provides a system of medical expertise, support, and information so that children and adults with Down syndrome can lead healthy and productive lives, and their families have the tools they need to guide their children along the journey from birth through adulthood. The establishment of an Endowed Medical Director for the Down Syndrome Center will position the Down Syndrome Center with medical leadership, strategic planning, and dedicated time to continue their mission of providing patient and family-centered care to individuals with Down syndrome throughout their lifespan.
Music therapists with Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy (CEAT) work with patients and families of all ages, helping meet social, emotional, physical, and physiological goals. With the addition of a new music therapist position and endowed funds, UPMC Children’s will be able to increase the frequency and scope of services offered, ensuring more patients can experience the many services and benefits that music therapy provides, including helping cope with grief and loss, staying calm during tests and treatments, decreasing pain and fear while in the hospital, and many others.
UPMC Children’s is focused on caring for the whole child, integrating care by treating their mental health along with their physical health. The demand and urgency for coordinated pediatric mental health services continues to rise. With increased funding and resources, UPMC Children’s is able to support the behavioral health needs of pediatric patients.
“Philanthropy empowers UPMC Children’s to go above and beyond in the care we provide to our children and families,” said Diane Hupp, president, UPMC Children’s. “Additionally, the endowed part of their gift will provide sustainable funding to fuel many of these programs in perpetuity, impacting future generations of patients and their families. We could not be more thankful for their support.”
Robert Pietrandrea, President of Railroad Development Corporation, serves on the UPMC Children’s Foundation Board of Trustees.
“We are immensely grateful to Bob and Chris Pietrandrea for this generous gift, and for how thoughtfully they approach their philanthropy so that it has the greatest impact possible,” said Rachel Petrucelli, president, UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This family’s passion for making a difference is deeply appreciated, and their gift is going to touch the lives of countless children, families, and staff at UPMC Children’s.”