First Choice ER Joins in Worldwide "Light It Up Blue" Autism Awareness Event

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Autism awareness campaign will light buildings and landmarks around the globe

First Choice Emergency Room is proudly participating in the worldwide Light It Up Blue campaign for autism awareness. On April 1st and 2nd, famous buildings and landmarks around the world - including the Empire State Building, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil and the Sydney Opera House in Australia - will light up bright blue for United Nations World Autism Awareness Day, joined by people, schools, organizations and companies hosting events.

All twelve of the First Choice ER's facilities will light up blue on both days as part of the event. The company operates freestanding emergency rooms in cities across Texas, including seven locations in the Houston area, four in the Dallas/Ft Worth area and one in the Austin ]area.

Lighting will be provided by Intelligent Lighting Design (ILD Lighting) of Texas, whose three locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas will all assist to illuminate the emergency rooms. ILD Lighting is waiving several thousand dollars in rental fees as a contribution to the cause.

"We are proud to be part of this event," says Rick Covert, CEO of First Choice ER, "Autism is an important public health issue, and we think it's important to do our part to raise awareness of this disorder."

Covert's company seeks to raise $5,000 in donations to support autism research. Donations can be made through the First Choice ER page at http://blue.autismspeaks.org/mysite/firstchoiceer or through the company's web site at http://www.fcer.com.

Wearing blue clothing is another way individuals can support the event, and First Choice ER staff will augment the blue scrubs they always wear with autism awareness lapel pins during the whole month of April.

This 2nd annual Light It Up Blue campaign is organized by Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, as a unique global initiative to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day and help raise funds and awareness of autism as a growing public health crisis.

World Autism Awareness Day was established by the United Nations in 2007 to highlight autism as a growing global health crisis, to increase world knowledge of the autism epidemic and the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention, and to celebrate the unique talents and skills of persons with autism. April 2nd is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

To support the First Choice ER donation drive, visit http://blue.autismspeaks.org/mysite/firstchoiceer.

For more information about the Light It Up Blue campaign, visit http://www.lightitupblue.org/.

About First Choice Emergency Room
First Choice ER operates the largest network of freestanding, fully equipped emergency rooms in Texas. All physicians are board certified in emergency medicine, and all FCER nurses are emergency trained. First Choice ER offers an innovative concept in the delivery of emergency medical services for adult and pediatric emergencies, both major and minor. With seven locations in the Houston area, four in the Dallas/Ft Worth area and one in the Austin area, patients receive high-quality treatment with minimal wait times.

For more information, locations and hours, visit http://www.FCER.com or call toll-free 866-99-FIRST (34778).

About Intelligent Lighting Design
Intelligent Lighting Design is the most critically acclaimed event lighting design firm in Texas. In 2006, ILD Lighting opened it's doors to the wedding industry and made history by designing and manufacturing cutting-edge LED lighting equipment for special events. Through ingenuity, ILD Lighting created an affordable way to illuminate any event with color-matching capabilities and endless possibilities. With offices in Austin, Houston, and Dallas, ILD Lighting is a preferred event lighting vendor for over 40+ event facilities around the Lone Star State.

For more information, visit http://www.ILDLighting.com or call 877-266-6935.

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Kristyn Eldridge

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