Keith McIntire Recognized with CMN Hospitals Impact Award

Keith McIntire accepts Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' Impact Award

Keith McIntire, co-founder of the Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids, was recently recognized with this year’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals Impact Award. This award recognizes a doctor, nurse or caregiver that provides exceptional care and is supported by CMN Hospitals funds, shining a light on providers for the impact they are making on children’s health in their community.

A Lifetime of Firsts

Himself born with a rare heart defect; Keith knows better than most the unique trials faced by kids born with congenital heart disease. He wasn’t expected to live past his first birthday, but throughout his medical journey, he was part of many firsts at UPMC Children’s. At eight years old, he had one of the first heart catheterizations and the first black and white 2-dimensional Echocardiogram at the hospital.  At 16 years old, he received the first porcine or pig heart valve surgery as part of a research program that served him until he was 23, when he received the mechanical valve that he still has to this day.

Today, Keith is UPMC Children’s oldest living heart patient followed since birth.

Co-founding Heart Camp

In 1991, along with now retired cardiologist Dr. Bill Neches, Keith co-founded the Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids. Kids with congenital heart disease come together to spend time with other kids who are just like them, learning about their health and hearts.

For 33 years total with Heart Camp (29 of those years as director), Keith secured medical staff and volunteers to work the camp each summer, many of them former campers themselves. He has also been on the forefront of raising funds to support the camp each year.

About Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids

Every summer, hundreds of children and adolescents that were once in our care journey to beautiful campgrounds around the region for UPMC Children’s camps. Heart Camp is held one week each summer at camp Kon-o-Kwee/Spencer in Pennsylvania. Heart Camp helps kids build confidence, bond with new friends, and prove to themselves how capable they truly are, instilling a sense of camaraderie and confidence in themselves to try new things and know they are not alone. Donations to Heart Camp keeps registration costs for families as low as possible and helps offset the cost of camp operations.