The Foundation | Published December 18, 2019

Delivering generations of care

Sorting through a box of treasured photos at her daughter Rachel Breon’s dining room table, Diana LaRoche says her family has lived in central Pennsylvania as far back as she knows. “We go back so many generations, it seems like we’ve been here forever,” she laughs. “I don’t ever remember us being anywhere else.”

Something Diana remembers well is giving birth to all three of her children at Centre Community Hospital (now Mount Nittany Medical Center). Born in the original Bellefonte Hospital herself in 1952, Diana recalls precious memories from each of her children’s births, including middle child, Rachel. Diana remembers when her kids were born in the 1960s and 70s, “We would go into the ‘rocker room’ with all of the rocking chairs and the nurses would bring us our babies to hold and feed. Things have come such a long way for new moms.”

Rachel, who welcomed her own two daughters at Centre Community Hospital in the 1990s, agrees. “The care I received with my kids was wonderful,” she shares. “Both Amber and Teeona were so well cared for by the nurses. It was such a comfort. My husband and I especially enjoyed the special candlelit dinners provided after the girls were born. The nurses cared for the babies and gave us a chance to enjoy time alone and really cherish the moment. My mom was able to be there to see both of the girls born, too, which was really special.”

Amber Catral, Rachel’s oldest daughter – who gave birth to daughters Sofia (4) and Haisley (1) at the Medical Center – fondly shares how, with both girls, the nurses in the women & children’s department made her feel comfortable and supported as a mother. “I always felt listened to. The follow-up care the girls and I received was also beyond outstanding,” she shares. “I received the most individualized compassionate care at Mount Nittany Medical Center, and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

Revealing her favorite part of becoming a big sister, Sofia shares that just last fall before Haisley was born, she loved attending the big sister class at the Medical Center that is offered for younger siblings (The Childbirth Education Association of State College, PA’s Sibling Preparation class).

“I saw where she [Haisley] was going to be born, and learned how to be a good big sister,” says Sofia.

Amber adds that nurses were quick to answer any questions Sofia had about becoming a big sister, helping her understand what was happening and allowing her to feel part of the experience.

The close-knit family that “does just about everything together” – including regular sit-down meals and summer vacations – says they’re appreciative of Mount Nittany Health and the quality care and advanced technologies that it provides to our community.

“The fabulous care combined with the comfort of feeling like you’re not just a number is very important to all of us, says Amber. “The health system continues to improve and we can’t wait to see what’s next.”

At Mount Nittany Health, our roots are here and so is our future. We are committed to caring for thousands of lives each year, including the more than 1,300 babies we welcome into the world. Since 1902, our community has relied on us for exceptional care, a promise we are dedicated to upholding as we evolve to meet the changing needs of those we serve.

For more information about Mount Nittany Health, including the women & children’s services department at Mount Nittany Medical Center, visit