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 


Beth Donegan Driscoll

Unit / Area

Child Life Specialist

Cardiac Clinic 6S

Maureen Abramson

6 North - Oncology

Laurel Anderson

6 West - Stem Cell Transplant

Emily Lapworth

6 East - Hematology / Oncology

Gail Windmueller

7 West - Medicine Patient Services

Lauren Wilson

7 South - Medicine ICU

Brianna O’Connell

7 North - NICU

Darlene Salvatore

8 East - Cardiology

Lauren Smizer

Lynne Polsi

8 South - Cardiac ICU

Kate Huyler

9 NW - Neurology

Samantha Swankowski

9 East - Medicine Patient Services

Julia Clemens

9 South - Medicine Patient Services

Christine Horgan Dumais

10 East - Surgical Programs

Deb McCarty

10 NW - Surgical Programs

Jessica Strzelecki

Tanya Fortier

10 South - Transplant

Kirsten Getchell

11 South - Medicine ICU & Intermediate Care Program

Allison Kelly


Jill Twomey

Radiology & MRI

Angela Franceschi

Nuclear Medicine & Radiology

Tricia Ashe

Pre-Op Clinic

Hayley Sorensen


Addie Rosenstock


LaKeisha Garcia

Day Surgery

Milagros Lopez-Ramirez

Pre-Op Holding / PACU

Mary Malley


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

Waltham - Infusion Center

Colleen McColgan

Martha Eliot Health Center

Katie Reynolds

Volunteer Services

Jessica Strzelecki

Trust, Entertainment, Marketing & Media




Art Coordindator


Carrie Card




Miranda Guardiani


Education Coordinator

Suzanne Graca

Administrative Coordinator

Eric Cronin

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO