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Upstate celebrates its child life specialists throughout March

Child life specialists are often the unsung heroes that work to eradicate the scariness of a hospital visit or stay for pediatric patients at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Child Life Month is nationally recognized in March, showcasing the unique work done by child life professionals.

“The team here has grown substantially over the years, which is a testament to how well child life services are received and how important they are to pediatric care,” said Margaret Nellis, MS, CCLS, director, Child Life Program, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Upstate’s 12-member team of certified child life specialists focuses on the use of developmental, educational and therapeutic interventions that help children and their families cope with challenging life events and experiences, such as those related to health care and hospitalization.

The Child Life team at Upstate Golisano will sponsor a variety of special events and activities for patients and staff as part of the month-long celebration. Pediatric staff are asked to join in the fun by wearing special attire on specific days and attending special lunch and learn sessions hosted by the Child Life staff. All pediatric staff members are invited to attend. Scheduled special attire days are:

  • March 5: Support your team by wearing gear for your favorite sports team. The child life staff expects to see a lot of orange!
  • March 12: What are you passionate about? Wear something that supports a cause that is close to your heart.
  • March 19: Show us your favorite Disney (or other cartoon) character.
  • March 26: Wear your favorite Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital shirt

For more information on Child Life month, contact Margaret Nellis at nellism@upstate.edu. Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital’s child life specialists are certified by the Child Life Council.

Caption: Upstate’s child life specialists,  front row, from left, Margaret Zick, Rachel Hannon, Gina Lozit0-Yorton, Marsha Kernan; back row, from left, Elizabeth Kinsley, Jamie Cary, Sue Karl, Margaret Nellis, Clare Arezina.

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