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Highmark Caring Place Dedicates New Facility in Warrendale
Date:5/8/2009

With one in 20 children experiencing the death of a parent before they graduate high school, new center offers peer support group programs

PITTSBURGH, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, nearing capacity to serve children and families at its downtown Pittsburgh location, the program has expanded to a fourth site north of Pittsburgh in Warrendale, Pa.

Today, amidst some 200 children releasing balloons as part of a ceremony to celebrate families who have attended the Caring Place and to honor the memory of their loved ones who have died, the Highmark Caring Place held a dedication for the opening of a new facility at 200 Warrendale Village Drive. The Caring Place provides peer support group programs and other services free of charge to children and their families, and the new facility will serve communities in northern Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties.

"Extending the presence and reach of the Caring Place is critical to the health and well-being of the children in our region," said Kenneth R. Melani, M.D., president and CEO of Highmark Inc. "By opening this fourth facility in Warrendale, we will be able to reach even more children who are grieving the loss of a loved one and don't know where to turn. This new Caring Place, like all of our facilities, will help grieving children and adolescents find hope."

The Highmark Caring Place in Warrendale is a safe place where grieving children and families can come together and be with others who understand their loss. At the Caring Place's peer support program, children share their feelings, memories and experiences. They and their families get support and encouragement from each other, facilitated by a caring community made up of professionals, trained volunteers and other children and adults who have also experienced a death.

"We know that one in 20 children will have a parent die before they graduate from high school," said Terese Vorsheck, Highmark Caring Place director. "With the Warrendale location, we will be able to reach thousands more children who live north of Pittsburgh and may be grieving the death of a loved one."

In addition to peer support groups, the Caring Place also provides referral services, adult telephone support, educational programs and resources for grieving children and families. Consultation services, as well as educational presentations and resources, are available for schools and other professionals in the community who work with children.

To inquire about upcoming peer support group sessions or other services, contact the Warrendale Caring Place at 888-734-4073.

About the Highmark Caring Place

The Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, offers services at no charge to any grieving child and their family. The Caring Place operates four facilities in Pittsburgh, Warrendale, Erie and Central Pennsylvania. Since the opening of the first Caring Place facility in 1997, the program has served more than 30,000 family members and community partners. The Caring Place is supported by Highmark Healthy High 5, a children's health promotion initiative of the Highmark Foundation. For more information about the Highmark Caring Place, contact 888-734-4073 or visit www.highmarkcaringplace.com.


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SOURCE Highmark Caring Place
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