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

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Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
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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.

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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If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

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