New Castle News

November 21, 2012

Jameson dedicates room to memory of disabled rights advocate

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Jameson Hospital saluted a local disabled rights advocate yesterday by dedicating a room in her memory.

The newly renovated Americans with Disabilities Act patient care room pays tribute to Debra J. Librandi, who died last year. Librandi was active in Disability Options Network, an organization empowering people with disabilities to live independently.

Through her leadership and involvement, Jameson formed a collaborative relationship with Disability Options Network in the year 2010. Librandi played an active role collaborating with Jameson management and staff to create user-designed enhancements to the ADA-compliant patient room from the perspective of a disabled person.

“It’s with mixed emotions that we gather here today,” said Doug Danko, president and chief executive officer of Jameson Health System. “We’re here in remembrance of a wonderful young lady, but we’re also here to celebrate her efforts and what she was able to accomplish.

“She was an asset to Jameson Health System. She opened our eyes and made us more aware of what we needed to be sensitive to. She challenged us to do what this hospital needed to do to meet the needs of ALL of our consitutents in our community.”

Room 205 is decorated in a style reflecting Librandi’s joys in life. Butterfly artwork provided by her mother, Pat Librandi, adorns the walls. After the  death of her brother, Debra Librandi and her mother gravitated toward the images of butterflies for comfort. Pat Librandi also donated artwork for the room depicting the words, “Live, Love, Laugh” – her daughter’s motto.

The bathroom has been remodeled to include an oversized shower that is flush with floor level, a sink at wheelchair level and an easily accessible toilet.

Debra Librandi graduated as valedictorian in 1986 from New Castle Area High School. She attended Youngstown State University. In 1995, she received the Salute to Courage Award from St. Francis Hospital.

Yesterday’s dedication ceremony featured Danko presenting Librandi’s family with a resolution from the board of directors. On hand were her Librandi’s mother and brother, Dr. George Librandi, as well as representatives of Disability Options Network and other friends of the Librandi family.

The resolution noted that “Debra’s voice was heard and her vision was shared for Jameson Hospital to explore opportunities for expanding accessibility for the physically disabled ... resulting in the renovation of patient room 205.”

Citing her “strength, and her conviction to devote time to Jameson Hospital” the resolution concluded that “Debra is missed by the staff of Jameson Hospital and will always be remembered.”