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Special Events and Educational Programs

Staff and volunteers of the UPMC Mercy Burn Center host a variety of events to support and encourage fellowship among our patients and their families, as well as promote educational and injury prevention programs in the community.


UPMC Mercy Burn Survivor Sunday: A Year of Celebration

Burn Survivor Sunday — held the first Sunday of the month in February — is an annual event that allows burn survivors treated in the UPMC Mercy Gertrude P. and Donald C.W. Birmingham Trauma and Burn Center to reunite and celebrate with members of their care team, including doctors and nurses. The celebration includes a range of activities and a luncheon.

Burn Camp for Children

Camp Susquehanna is a free 4-day summer camp experience for children ages 7-17 who have suffered severe burns. Sponsored by the M. Elvin Byler Memorial Sertoma Club, the camp is held each year during the last full weekend in June. Featuring fun physical activities, the program helps to build self-esteem, promote social networking, teach responsibility and coping skills, and increase public awareness. Free transportation is provided from UPMC Mercy.

Annual Glow Stick Giveaway

Each Fourth of July holiday season, the UPMC Mercy Burn Center works to inform the public of how dangerous fireworks can be for people of all ages. As part of ongoing efforts to discourage the private use of fireworks and sparklers, UPMC Mercy provides safe, alternative glow products to more than 30 local area EMS agencies for distribution. Community members are encouraged to contact their local EMS department regarding availability.

Community Education and Outreach

UPMC Mercy Burn Center offers a wide variety of prevention programs tailored to meet the needs of various groups or organizations. To request a program at your school, contact the UPMC Mercy Burn Center at 412-232-8375.


Our most popular education and outreach programs are:

Learn Not to Burn

Learn Not to Burn is a comprehensive burn prevention program developed by the National Fire Prevention Association for early elementary school students. Presented by volunteer health care professionals from UPMC Mercy’s Burn Center, this 7-part program focuses on lessons and activities designed to prevent childhood burns, including:

  • Responding correctly during fire and smoke drills at school.
  • Using a home escape plan.
  • Identifying exit signs and knowing 2 ways out in public places.
  • Knowing how to do the crawl-low-in-smoke procedure.
  • Knowing how to do the stop, drop and roll procedure.
  • Home safety.
  • Holiday safety.

Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR)

SOAR is a program designed by The Phoenix Society and a national committee of experts to provide volunteer training to burn survivors or their family members to help others whose lives have been impacted by a burn injury. The hospital-based program makes it easier for burn centers to provide critical peer support to patients. By sharing their experiences, SOAR volunteers help burn patients adapt to their injuries.

For information, or to schedule a peer support meeting, contact UPMC Mercy Burn Center at 412-232-8375.

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