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

Colleen Daly MS, CCLS**
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