Child Life Specialists

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

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

Using developmental interventions and play, they help patients and families adjust to and understand the hospital and their medical situation. Child Life Specialists:

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

  • Provide consultation to the health care team regarding developmental and psycho-social issues

  • Provide preparation and individualized support before and after medical procedures

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

  • Initiate tutoring services

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 recreational therapy. Many Child Life Specialists are also professionally certified and affiliated with the National Child Life Council.

Child Life Specialists are also available to help families with questions that may arise about a child's behavior and adjustment to home or school after they have been in the hospital. 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.

If you would like to donate items to the child life department, please explore the Donation Guidelines.

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

Meet our Child Life Services Team


Director Beth Donegan Driscoll MS, CCLS  Beth.Donegan@childrens.harvard.edu
Center for Families / Pawprints Program
Lynn Belkin MS-CL, CCLS
 Lynn.Belkin@childrens.harvard.edu
Child Life Art Specialist
Michelle Dean-Onabajo MS, CCLS
 Michelle.DeanOnabajo@childrens.harvard.edu
Computer Support Tech
Ryan McAskill
 Ryan.McAskill@childrens.havard.edu
Creative Arts Manager Miranda Day MS, MBA, CCLS **  Miranda.Guardiani@childrens.harvard.edu
Education & Program Coordinator
Suzanne Graca MS, CCLS ***
 Suzanne.Graca@childrens.harvard.edu
Media Program Specialist Maxwell Svec  Maxwell.Svec@childrens.harvard.edu
Trust, Marketing, Special Events
Kirsten Getchell MS, CCLS **
 Kirsten.Getchell@childrens.harvard.edu
Volunteer Services Jessica Strzelecki MEd, CCLS  Jessica.Strzelecki@childrens.harvard.edu
Inpatient Units
6 Northeast - Inpatient Oncology Gail Windmueller MS, CCLS  Gail.Windmueller@childrens.harvard.edu
6 West - Stem Cell Transplant Brittany Metcalf BS, CCLS  Brittany.Metcalf@childrens.harvard.edu
7 West - Medicine Patient Service Lauren Wilson BS, CCLS  Lauren.Wilson@childrens.harvard.edu
7 South - Surgical Intensive Care Brianna O’Connell MS, CCLS**  Brianna.O’Connell@childrens.harvard.edu
7 North - Neonatal Intensive Care Darlene Salvatore CCLS**  Darlene.Salvatore@childrens.harvard.edu
8 East and West - Cardiology Lauren Smizer BS, CCLS  Lauren.Smizer@ childrens.harvard.edu
  Liz Allwine, MS, CCLS  Elizabeth.Allwine@childrens.harvard.edu
Erin Connelly BS, CCLS  Erin.Connelly@childrens.harvard.edu
8 South - Cardiac Intensive Care Kate Huyler MS, CCLS  Kate.Huyler@childrens.harvard.edu
9 Northwest - Neurology Megan Leibovitz BS, CCLS  Megan.Leibovitz@childrens.harvard.edu
9 East - Medicine Patient Services Kristen Priven MS, CCLS  Kristen.Priven@childrens.harvard.edu
9 South - Medicine Patient Services Jennifer Nguyen MS, CCLS  Jennifer.Nguyen@childrens.harvard.edu
10 East - Infant/Toddler Surgery Leanne Rotman MS, CCLS  Leanne.Rotman@childrens.harvard.edu
10 Northwest - Surgery Theresa Rankin MS, CCLS  Theresa.Rankin@childrens.harvard.edu
Laurel Anderson MS, CCLS  Laurel.Anderson@childrens.harvard.edu
10 South - Surgical & Solid Organ Transplant Alison Burns MS, CCLS  Alison.Burns@childrens.harvard.edu
11 South - Medicine Intensive Care Unit/Intermediate Care Program Jamie Crosby MS, CCLS  Jamie.Crosby@childrens.harvard.edu
Weekend Program
6th Floor - Inpatient Oncology Mary Malley MS, CCLS**  Mary.Malley@childrens.harvard.edu
7 South/7 North - Surgical Intensive Care Unit/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Emily Springer, MS  Emily.Springer@childrens.harvard.edu
7 West/11 South - Medicine Patient Services/Medicine Intensive Care Unit/Intermediate Care Program Shelby Pustis, MS, CCLS  Shelby.Pustis@childrens.harvard.edu
8th Floor - Inpatient Cardiology Lynne Long BA, CCLS, CEIM  Lynne.Long@childrens.harvaerd.edu
9th Floor - Inpatient Neurology & Medicine Samantha Swankowski MS, CCLS  Samantha.Swankowski@childrens.harvard.edu
10th Floor - Inpatient Surgery Annika Stout MS, CCLS   Annika.Stout@childrens.harvard.edu
Outpatient Clinics
6 South - Cardiac Catheterization Lab/Cardiac/Cardiac Pre-Op Maureen Abramson MS, CCLS***  Maureen.Abramson@childrens.harvard.edu
CAT/CR- Infusion Center Jill Twomey-McLaughlin BS, CCLS**  Jill.TwomeyMclaughlin@childrens.harvard.edu
Clinics Gail Windmueller MS, CCLS
 Gail.Windmueller@childrens.harvard.edu
Dialysis LaKeisha Garcia MS, CCLS   LaKeisha.Garcia@childrens.harvard.edu 
  Robyn Snyder MS, CCLS   Robyn.Snyder@childrens.harvard.edu 
Day Surgery Milagros Lopez-Ramirez 
Developmental Medicine Kristin Diezel  Kristin.Diezel@childrens.harvard.edu
Emergency Department Dafne Saavedra-Preskins MS, CCLS**   Dafne.SaavedraPreskins@childrens.harvard.edu 
  Cami Polfuss MS, CCLS   Cami.Polfuss@childrens.harvard.edu 
  Emi Layok MS, CCLS   Emi.Loyok@childrens.harvard.edu 
  Yanya Fortier  Tanya.Fortier@childrens.harvard.edu 
Phlebotomy/Pre-Op Admitting Erin Whooley   Erin.Whooley@childrens.harvard.edu
Pre-Op Holding/PACU Carrie Card BS, CCLS**   Carrie.Card@childrens.harvard.edu 
Primary Care Center Addie Rosenstock MS, CCLS**  Addie.Rosenstock@childrens.harvard.edu
  Fiorella Downey MS, CCLS   Fiorella.Downey@childrens.harvard.edu 
Nuclear Medicine Trisha Ashe BS, CCLS**  Patricia.Ashe@childrens.harvard.edu
Radiology Angela Franceschi MEd, CCLS**  Angela.Franceschi@childrens.harvard.edu
Catherine Verow MS, CCLS  Catherine.Verow@childrens.harvard.edu
Satellites
Martha Eliot Hayley Sorensen MS, CCLS**  Hayley.Sorensen@childrens.harvard.edu
  Christine Dumais EdM, CCLS  Christine.Dumais@childrens.harvard.edu
Peabody Jessica Randall MS, CCLS  Jessica.Randall@childrens.harvard.edu
Waltham

Colleen Daly MS, CCLS**   Colleen.Daly@childrens.harvard.edu
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

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

Close