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Child Life Program

Helping kids be kids—even when they're healing.

We know children need more than medicine to get well. When children are hospitalized it is important for them to continue to play, laugh, learn and do all the things they love. Our Child Life Program provides a compassionate and comprehensive approach to meeting the emotional, social and developmental needs of children and teens.

What is a child life specialist?

As trained professionals who work with children in medical settings, each of our specialists holds a bachelor's or master's degree in the area of child life, child development or related fields. Child life specialists are also professionally certified and affiliated with the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Our child life specialists are an integral part of our multidisciplinary family-centered care team, using non-pharmacological techniques to help kids heal.  

What we offer

  • Help patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety and stress
  • Provide individualized preparation and support for medical procedures
  • Facilitate medical play
  • Offer developmentally appropriate play opportunities and activities
  • Pre-operative teaching and tours for surgical patients and their families
  • Help siblings understand their brother or sister's illness, injury or surgery
  • Provide grief and loss support to pediatric patients and their families in partnership with the 
  • Pathways Palliative Care Program


Getting Ready for Your VCUG

Contact the Child Life Program

Phone: 503-413-2740 or email