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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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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.

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 through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 617-355-6551

Meet our Child Life Specialists

Director Beth Donegan Driscoll MS, CCLS
Education & Program Coordinator Suzanne Graca MS, CCLS ***
Administrative Coordinator Eric Cronin
Computer Support Ryan McAskill
Creative Arts Manager Miranda Guardiani MS, MBA, CCLS **
Trust, Marketing, Special Events Kirsten Getchell MS, CCLS **
Volunteer Services:  Jessica Strzelecki MEd, CCLS
Child Life Art Specialist Michelle Dean-Onabajo MS, CCLS
Center for Families/Pawprints Lynn Belkin MS-CL, CCLS
6 Northeast - Inpatient Oncology:  Gail Windmueller MS, CCLS
6 West - Stem Cell Transplant:  Brittany Metcalf BS, CCLS
7 West - Medicine Patient Services: Lauren Wilson BS, CCLS
7 South - Surgical Intensive Care Unit:  Brianna O’Connell MS, CCLS** Brianna.O’
7 North - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit:  Darlene Salvatore CCLS**
8 East - Cardiology:  Lauren Smizer BS, CCLS Lauren.Smizer@
                            Liz Allwine, MS, CCLS
Erin Connelly BS, CCLS
8 South - Caridac Intensive Care Unit:  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
6 South - Cardiac Catheterization Lab/Cardiac Clinic/Cardiac Pre-Op Clinic:  Maureen Abramson MS, CCLS***
CAT/CR- Infusion Center:  Jill Twomey-McLaughlin BS, CCLS**
Dialysis:  LaKeisha Garcia MS, CCLS 
  Robyn Snyder MS, CCLS 
Emergency Department:  Dafne Saavedra-Preskins MS, CCLS** 
  Cami Polfuss MS, CCLS 
  Emi Layok MS, CCLS 
Phlebotomy/Pre-Op Admitting:     
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
Waltham:  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