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Highmark Caring Place to Expand Services to New Facility in Cranberry Area
Date:2/25/2008

Grieving children from northern Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler,

Lawrence and Mercer counties to be served at new facility

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, announced today its intention to expand its services to an additional facility in the Cranberry area, which will aim to serve children and families from communities in northern Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties. The new facility will be the Highmark Caring Place's fourth location as the center currently operates a facility at 620 Stanwix Street in downtown Pittsburgh, as well as in Erie and Central Pennsylvania.

The Caring Place services are provided free of charge to children and their families. The downtown Pittsburgh facility opened in 1997 and has since served approximately 4,500 grieving children and adults in its peer support groups, as well as several thousand more community members with its referral, education and consultation services.

"The unfortunate news is that thousands of children in our region are grieving the death of a loved one and need access to the programs that the Highmark Caring Place provides," said Kenneth R. Melani, M.D., president and CEO of Highmark Inc. "Our downtown Pittsburgh location was reaching capacity, and because we are committed to serving these children and providing them with hope, we chose to open another facility in the region."

The new Caring Place will allow the downtown Pittsburgh program to serve grieving families more quickly, as the new facility in the Cranberry area will be more convenient for approximately 20 percent of families currently accessing the downtown facility. Further, the addition of a fourth facility will allow the Caring Place to reach many other families who live too far to attend the downtown location.

"One in 20 children will have a parent die before they graduate from high school. Because of this statistic, we know that the need for support services for grieving children in our communities is critical," said Terese Vorsheck, Highmark Caring Place director. "With the facility in the Cranberry area, we will be able to reach the growing population of this area, including the tens of thousands of children in the region grieving the death of a loved one who may need support."

The Caring Place will be leasing approximately 11,000 square feet of space at the newly constructed Warrendale Village development in Marshall Township. Warrendale Village is being developed by Eric Ravotti of RAR Development, LLC and is located along Interstate 79 between Route 19 and Warrendale Bayne Road. In addition to the Caring Place facility, the development will house approximately 40,000 square feet of in-line retail tenants and four outparcels.

About the Highmark Caring Place

The Highmark Caring Place 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.

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. The Highmark Caring Place is a community resource, offering services at no charge to any grieving family throughout the community through generous support of Highmark Inc., community partners and Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation.

For more information about the Highmark Caring Place, contact 1-888-734-4073 or visit http://www.highmarkcaringplace.com.


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SOURCE The Highmark Caring Place
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