Child Life Specialists

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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



Center for Families
Jessica Strzelecki MEd, CCLS


Sarah Sullivan MS, CCLS**
 Jessica.Strzelecki@childrens.harvard.edu



Sarah.Sullivan3@childrens.harvard.edu

Inpatient Units
6 Northeast - Inpatient Oncology Annika Stout MS, CCLS  Annika.Stout@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 Megan Leibovitz MS, CCLS  Megan.Leibovitz@childrens.harvard.edu
7 North - Neonatal Intensive Care Darlene Salvatore BS, CCLS**  Darlene.Salvatore@childrens.harvard.edu
8 East and West - Cardiology Lauren Smizer BS, CCLS**  Lauren.Smizer@ childrens.harvard.edu
  Emily Springer, MS, CCLS Emily.Springer@childrens.harvard.edu
Erin Connelly MS, CCLS  Erin.Connelly@childrens.harvard.edu
8 South - Cardiac Intensive Care Kate Huyler MS, CCLS  Kate.Huyler@childrens.harvard.edu
9 Northwest - Neurology Andrea Lerude MS, CCLS  Andrea.Lerude@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

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

10th Floor - Inpatient Surgery

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 MS, CCLS Milagros.LopezRamirez@childrens.harvard.edu
Autism Spectrum Center Kristin Diesel MS, CCLS  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 
  Samantha Swankowski MS, CCLS
 Samantha.Swankowski@childrens.harvard.edu
Phlebotomy/Pre-Op Admitting Erin Wholly MS, CCLS  Erin.Whooley@childrens.harvard.edu
Pre-Op Holding/PACU Carrie Card MS, 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
MRI Catherine Verow MS, CCLS Catherine.Verow@childrens.harvard.edu
Satellites
Martha Eliot Hayley Sorensen MS, CCLS**  Hayley.Sorensen@childrens.harvard.edu
  Christine Dumais MEd, CCLS  Christine.Dumais@childrens.harvard.edu
Peabody Jessica Randall MS, CCLS  Jessica.Randall@childrens.harvard.edu
Waltham

Colleen Daly MS, CCLS** 

Sara Kumin MS, CCLS
 Colleen.Daly@childrens.harvard.edu


Sarah.Kumin@childrens.harvard.edu
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- 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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