As we near the end of March, we have a few days left to celebrate Child Life Month and recognize our amazing Child Life staff at Levine Children’s Hospital. This year’s Sarah Pickens Williamson Award recipient is Sharon Green (pictured, above/right with Sarah Williamson). Established in 2013, the Sarah Pickens Williamson Award, honoring Sarah’s commitment to Levine Children’s Hospital and Child Life, recognizes a member of the child life team who exhibits excellence in their profession. Congratulations, Sharon, on winning this prestigious award! Learn from Sharon and other Child Life staff about the great work their team is doing to impact patient care.
The Child Life Program at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital
At Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, we not only treat the medical conditions of children; we also take care of their emotional needs. It can be scary for anyone in the hospital, but even more so for a child. Our Child Life program works alongside doctors, nurses and families to help children cope while being in the hospital – and adding in a little bit of fun, whenever possible.
What is a Child Life Specialist?
A child life specialist is someone who is trained to provide psychosocial and emotional support for hospitalized children, helping explain hospital procedures and treatments in age-appropriate ways. They use medical play, videos and other distractions to make a child’s experience feel safer and more normal, while restoring their sense of control. Each child life specialist has a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the areas of child life, child development, education or a related field.
The Child Life Fund:
The Child Life Fund, which is administered by Carolinas HealthCare Foundation on behalf of Levine Children’s Hospital, supports essential recreational and educational programs conducted for hospitalized pediatric patients by the Child Life staff of Levine Children’s Hospital. Use this link to designate a gift in support of the Child Life Fund on our Infants & Children’s donation form.
A few examples of how contributions to the Child Life Fund have impacted this important program:
- Covered the cost of child reference materials in the Child Life Reference Library for the education and professional development of the Child Life staff.
- Paid for new toys to accommodate patient play in the Child Life Department as well as in the patient rooms, which continues to provide needed distractions for Levine Children’s Hospital patients and helps them cope during their hospital stay.
- Enhanced the LCH 10th Floor Treatment Room, making the hospital more child, family, and patient-friendly.
- Supported the purchase of Alphabotz Scratch Pad playbooks for Pediatric Emergency Department patients and the Levine Children’s Specialty Center.
- Covered the cost of redecorating the 10th floor treatment room at Levine Children’s Hospital, creating a relaxing, supportive environment for patients and their families during treatment procedures.
- Contributions to the Fund have allowed Child Life to host Hugworks musician visits to various locations at Levine Children’s Hospital, which provide entertainment and fun activities for patients and their families.