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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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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


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