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Jamie Cary wins major national award for her work as Certified Child Life Specialists with the Upstate’s Robert C. Schwartz Cystic Fibrosis Center

Jamie Cary, a Certified Child Life Specialist with Upstate University Hospital’s Robert C. Schwartz Cystic Fibrosis Center, has received a national award recognizing her “passion for excellence, a commitment to care and advocacy for individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) and a leadership role in the CF community.”

Cary was one of only two individuals nationwide to receive the Mary M. Kontos Care Champion Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in October 2020.  This conference was held virtually and had more than 6,000 participants.

Cary plays a key role in supporting patients and families to be successful and take on the multiple facets of having CF.  “Thanks to the significant medical advances for what was once a childhood disease, people with CF are now going to college, having careers, and families of their own.  I support children with CF as they cope with the challenges of having CF and prepare them to manage their care so that they can achieve their goals and dreams.”

In addition to supporting the patient, Cary supports siblings and parents through various programs.  “CF affects the entire family, and it is important to support them as well.”

Cary has had multiple abstracts published and spoken both locally and nationally sharing her work with the larger CF community.  “It is important to education the local community about CF and share the work we have done at our center nationally to information and inspire others.”

“Jamie is the first CCLS to receive the Kontos award, and this honor from the CF Foundation helps bring awareness about how Child Life Specialists can help patients who are coping with chronic disease,” said Christopher Fortner, MD, PhD, medical director of the Robert C. Schwartz Cystic Fibrosis Center at Upstate University Hospital. “Jamie’s work in the CF clinic has grown to help patients deal with challenges beyond acute health needs or procedural coping difficulties.