Child Life Specialists

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Child life specialists enhance patients' emotional, social and cognitive growth during a hospital stay, giving special consideration to each child's family, culture and stage of development.

Child life specialists use developmental interventions and play to help patients and families adjust to and understand the hospital and their medical situation.

As professionals trained to work with children in medical settings, each specialist holds a bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of child life, child development, special education or recreation therapy. Many child life specialists are also professionally certified and affiliated with the national Child Life Council.

  • Helps patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety, separation and adjustment to the hospital experience.

  • Provides consultation to the health care team regarding developmental and psychosocial issues.

  • Provides preparation and individualized support before and after medical procedures.

  • Facilitates developmentally appropriate play, including medical play, at the bedside, in activity rooms and in clinic areas.

  • Initiates tutoring services.

Questions may arise about a child's behavior and adjustment to home or school after they have been in the hospital. Child life specialists are available to help families with these issues. We offer:

  • "Back-to-school" programs, on referral, following a patient's extended hospital stay

  • Resources tailored to meet your child's needs

  • Suggestions to ease transition and recovery

Visit Activities for Patients for more information about activities provided by child life specialists.

Office of Child Life Services
Location: Fegan Basement, Room 049
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 617-355-6551

Meet our Child Life Specialists 

 

 

Director

 

 

Beth Donegan Driscoll

 

Beth.Donegan@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Unit / Area

 

 

Child Life Specialist

 

 

Cardiac Clinic 6S

 

 

Maureen Abramson

 

Maureen.Abramson@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

6 North - Oncology

 

 

Laurel Anderson

 

Laurel.Anderson@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

6 West - Stem Cell Transplant

 

 

Emily Lapworth  

 

Emily.Lapworth@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

6 East - Hematology / Oncology

 

 

Gail Windmueller

 

Gail.Windmueller@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

7 West - Medicine Patient Services

 

 

Lauren Wilson

 

Lauren.Wilson@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

7 South - Medicine ICU

 

 

Brianna O’Connell

 

Brianna.OConnell@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

7 North - NICU

 

 

Darlene Salvatore

 

Darlene.Salvatore@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

8 East - Cardiology

 

 

Lauren Smizer

 

Lauren.Smizer@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Lynne Polsi

 

Lynne.Polsi@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

8 South - Cardiac ICU

 

 

Kate Huyler

 

Kate.Huyler@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

9 NW - Neurology

 

 

Samantha Swankowski

 

Samantha.Swankowski@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

9 East - Medicine Patient Services

 

 

Julia Clemens

 

Julia.Clemens@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

9 South - Medicine Patient Services

 

 

Christine Horgan Dumais

 

Christine.Dumais@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

10 East - Surgical Programs

 

 

Deb McCarty

 

Debra.McCarty@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

10 NW - Surgical Programs

 

 

Jessica Strzelecki

 

Jessica.Stzrelecki@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Tanya Fortier

 

Tanya.Fortier@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

10 South - Transplant

 

 

Kirsten Getchell

 

Kirsten.Getchell@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

11 South - Medicine ICU & Intermediate Care Program

 

 

Allison Kelly

 

Allison@Kelly@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

CAT CR

 

 

Jill Twomey

 

Jill.Twomey@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Radiology & MRI

 

 

Angela Franceschi

 

Angela.Franceschi@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Nuclear Medicine & Radiology

 

 

Tricia Ashe

 

Tricia.Ashe@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Pre-Op Clinic

 

 

Hayley Sorensen

 

Hayley.Sorenson@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

CHPCC (PHA)

 

 

Addie Rosenstock

 

Addie.Rosenstock@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Dialysis

 

 

LaKeisha Garcia

 

LaKeisha.Garcia@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Day Surgery

 

 

Milagros Lopez-Ramirez

 

Milagros.Lopez-Ramirez@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Pre-Op Holding / PACU

 

 

Mary Malley

 

Mary.Malley@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

ED

 

 

Darlene Salvatore / Robyn Snyder/ Katie Ward / Dafne Saavedra-Preskins

 

Robyn.Snyder@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Kaitlin.Ward@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Dafne.Saavedra-Preskins@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Waltham - Infusion Center

 

 

Colleen McColgan

 

Colleen.McColgan@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Martha Eliot Health Center

 

 

Katie Reynolds

 

Kathryn.Reynolds@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Volunteer Services

 

 

Jessica Strzelecki

 

Jessica.Strzelecki@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Trust, Entertainment, Marketing & Media

 

 

 

Art Coordindator

 

 

Carrie Card

 

Carrie.Card@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

 

Miranda Guardiani

Miranda.Guardiani@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Education Coordinator

 

 

Suzanne Graca

 

Suzanne.Graca@childrens.harvard.edu

 

 

Administrative Coordinator

 

 

Eric Cronin

 

Eric.Cronin@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

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This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

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