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Upstate celebrates Child Life Month in March

Upstate celebrates Child Life Month in March

“Each interaction between a child life specialist and patient is tailored to that patient’s developmental level, specific needs and clinical situation,” said Margaret Nellis, CCLS, manager of Child Life Program at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. “The child life specialist is trained to assess the patient and determine the most effective approach and intervention.”

This year, the Child Life Program will host visits for patients from Double H Ranch, The Twin Magicians, Redhouse Art Program, The Zoo to You experience from Rosamond Gifford Zoo, characters, therapy animals and more. The Boy Scouts will visit again this year, holding their annual Pinewood Derby March 22. New this year will be a coffee house-style open mic event hosted by board certified music therapist Clare Arezina. In addition to all the fun, the team will also host staff wellness sessions, helping staff to stay well while they’re caring for others.

The child life specialists at Upstate are Brielle Swerdlin, Pediatric Emergency Services; Rachel Hannon, Pediatric Emergency Services; Sue Karl, Inpatient Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; Regina Lozito, Pediatric Surgery Center; Beth Kinsley, Inpatient Pediatric Surgery; Jamie Cary, Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic; Maggie Zick, General Pediatric Inpatient;  Sarah Buck, Water’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Cancer Center;  Jon Crowder, Pediatric Inpatient Hematology;  Marsha Kernan, Radiology; Bridget Hussey, Pediatric Inpatient Surgery, and Margaret Nellis, manager. Creative arts therapies are provided by music therapist Clare Arezina, MT-BC and art therapist Maria Fazzini, LCAT, ATR-BC.

Caption: Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital child life specialists are, back row, from left: Sue Karl, Margaret Nellis, Bridget Hussey, Maggie Zick, Clare Arezina (music therapy), Jamie Cary, Gina Lozito, Rachel Hannon and Elizabeth Kinsley.  Front row, from left: Sarah Buck, Maria Fazzini (art therapy), Brielle Swerdlin, Marsha Kernan and Jon Crowder.