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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

Director Beth Donegan Driscoll MS, CCLS Beth.Donegan@childrens.harvard.edu
Education & Program Coordinator Suzanne Graca MS, CCLS *** Suzanne.Graca@childrens.harvard.edu
Administrative Coordinator Eric Cronin Eric.Cronin@childrens.harvard.edu
Computer Support Ryan McAskill Ryan.McAskill@childrens.havard.edu
Creative Arts Manager Miranda Guardiani MS, MBA, CCLS ** Miranda.Guardiani@childrens.harvard.edu
Trust, Marketing, Special Events Kirsten Getchell MS, CCLS ** Kirsten.Getchell@childrens.harvard.edu
Volunteer Services:  Jessica Strzelecki MEd, CCLS Jessica.Strzeleck@childrens.harvard.edu
Child Life Art Specialist Michelle Dean-Onabajo MS, CCLS Michelle.DeanOnabajo@childrens.harvard.edu
Center for Families/Pawprints Lynn Belkin MS-CL, CCLS Lynn.Belkin@childrens.harvard.edu
Inpatient:
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 Services: Lauren Wilson BS, CCLS Lauren.Wilson@childrens.harvard.edu
7 South - Surgical Intensive Care Unit:  Brianna O’Connell MS, CCLS** Brianna.O’Connell@childrens.harvard.edu
7 North - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit:  Darlene Salvatore CCLS** Darlene.Salvatore@childrens.harvard.edu
8 East - Cardiology:  Lauren Smizer BS, CCLS Lauren.Smizer@ childrens.harvard.edu
                            Liz Allwine, MS Liz.Allwine@childrens.harvard.edu
Erin Connelly MS, CCLS Erin.Connelly@childrens.harvard.edu
8 South - Caridac Intensive Care Unit:  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  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
6 South - Cardiac Catheterization Lab/Cardiac Clinic/Cardiac Pre-Op Clinic:  Maureen Abramson MS, CCLS*** Maureen.Abramson@childrens.harvard.edu
CAT/CR- Infusion Center:  Jill Twomey-McLaughlin BS, CCLS** Jill.TwomeyMclaughlin@childrens.harvard.edu
Clinics:     
Dialysis:  LaKeisha Garcia MS, CCLS  LaKeisha.Garcia@childrens.harvard.edu 
  Robyn Snyder MS, CCLS  Robyn.Snyder@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 
Phlebotomy/Pre-Op Admitting:     
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 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

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