Fall 2014 
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Teachers in the Hospital: Mount Sinai's Hospital School Program

The New York City Department of Education Hospital Schools Program has teachers in several hospitals across the five boroughs. Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan has five teachers working in pediatrics. Elise Clement teaches middle and high school students in Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai on the fourth floor inpatient unit (P4), in the Rehabilitation Center and in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit. John Cooper teaches middle and high school students on the fifth floor inpatient unit (P5), in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU), and in the pediatric Cardiac ICU. Jennifer Mulcahy teaches elementary students on P4. Eva Perez teaches elementary students on P5, in the pediatric ICU and the pediatric Cardiac ICU. Lori Wilson teaches all school-age patients in the Hematology-Oncology Outpatient Clinic. These teachers serve children from Kindergarten until they graduate from high school or a graduate equivalency program or turn twenty-one and all students are eligible regardless of their residency. Last year alone, the teachers at Mount Sinai provided approximately 4,500 teaching sessions to pediatric patients.


Having school in the hospital lends normalcy and a focus on the future to children's experience of hospitalization. From the first day of hospitalization, families are offered educational services for school-age patients. The teachers can communicate with a patient's school to obtain homework, help with homework brought in by the family, or create lessons based on the New York City Department of Education's Common Core curriculum. Technology and the Arts are also embedded in the curriculum. Additionally, the teachers administer state and city tests as needed, such as New York State tests for grades 3 through 8, the SATs (by special arrangement), and the Regents exams. Students can get credit for attendance and coursework. Instruction can be done at the bedside or can be provided in small groups in a playroom or the Child Life Zone. The teaching is individualized and focuses on complementing and continuing instruction provided from the home school. The goal is for the students to return to school with individual academic gains.

Teacher Eva Perez works diligently with her patient on schoolwork in the Child Life Zone

The Child Life Zone: New and Improved

Thanks to generous funding from the Teammates for Kids Foundation, the Child Life Zone underwent an exciting face-lift this summer.  Re-upholstered seating, a decorative floor to ceiling curtain, the installation of new wall decorations and custom built cabinetry are just a few of the refurbishments that have enhanced the Zone's appearance and functionality. Under the skilled direction of the hospital's Facilities Department, construction crews focused the bulk of the renovation work in the area of the Zone designated for pediatric patients and families to play and relax as they wait for ambulatory surgeries. 


Previously congested, this often bustling environment now boasts a more open floor plan for comfortable seating and play opportunities.  The addition of a wall mounted video game cabinet has already had positive impacts on the wait times for countless children and adolescents.  The fall arrival of new chairs will mark the completion of this successful endeavor that has illuminated our unique therapeutic play and educational space. 


Patients can engage in play activities while they wait for their procedure.

KidZone TV now in HD

After an extensive upgrade thanks to a generous grant from the Teammates for Kids Foundation, KidZone TV is now broadcasting in high definition (HD). Since its creation, KidZone TV has prided itself in producing high quality programming with state of the art equipment while providing patients and their families an outlet to relax and have fun. The new state of the art HD equipment consist of Panasonic cameras with high quality resolution for our talent as well as a new Panasonic HD video switcher, providing advanced graphics and network broadcasting quality and functionality. The KidZone TV lineup of shows like "Name That Movie" and "Bingo" as well as our special guest performances will look better than ever, rivaling current television broadcasts. The HD upgrade will allow KidZone TV to continue as a teaching tool for newly developed hospital broadcast studios, providing modern production techniques and tools for training aspiring professionals.

Consider pediatric patients in your holiday and New Year's giving
As we approach the upcoming 2014 holiday season, please consider including our pediatric patients at Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai in your gift-giving.

The most direct way to make a toy donation to our department is through the  Starlight Children's Foundation Hospital's Wish List program. Also check out our Amazon wish list. For funding opportunities to support staff and innovative programming, please contact Diane Rode at 212-241-8024 or

Staff Additions, Accomplishments, and Updates




Please join us in welcoming 3 wonderful new additions to our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team, Lauren Smith, Meghan Amorosa and Taeesha Muhammad (Left to Right).  


Lauren joins our team fresh off of her Art Therapy and Child Life internships here at Mount Sinai. She is our new Creative Arts Therapy Coordinator working on our inpatient floors. She also hosts a KZTV show weekly called "Passport to Art". When not in the hospital, Lauren enjoys gardening and painting.

Meghan is the newest addition to our weekend team as a Child Life Assistant on Saturdays and Sundays. She is currently a student at Bank Street College pursuing a career in Child Life. Meghan will provide various engaging and entertaining activities for patients and families on the units and in the Child Life Zone. She enjoys arts & crafts, cooking and reading!

Taeesha is another great addition as the evening Child Life Assistant. She runs groups in the Child Life Zone and provides activities for patients on the inpatient floors. When she is not here, Taeesha enjoys assemblage art, such as collage making, and visiting museums.



Diane Rode, Child Life Director, was featured in three live online Clinical Supervision teaching sessions with UK "Supervision in the Helping Professions" author and supervision leader Robin Shohet.  These programs were available to an international audience of participants through the UK's leading platform "Online Events".

Sarah Yazdian, Art Therapist and Child Life Specialist, will be presenting on "Supporting children of adult palliative care inpatients during end-of-life" at the Child Life of Greater New York (CLGNY) professional conference in November. The presentation will explore the ways that a psychosocial team can collaborate to enhance emotional support for children facing the loss of a loved one.


Lori Lerma and Cheryl Strauss, Child Life Specialists, will be alsp be presenting at the CLGNY professional conference.  The title of the presentation is "A Season of Service:  Building, Leading, and Supporting a Team of Summer Volunteers" which will demonstrate the success of the Child Life volunteer program at the Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai. 


Toshiko Nonaka, Child Life Specialist, fresh off her poster presentation at the Child Life Council Annual Conference, will bring her knowledge to the Child Life of Greater New York professional conference. Her presentation is entitled "Building a live peer learning program via Skype: Combining the best of case studies and journal club".


Archimedes Bibiano, Mindfulness Meditation and Adaptive Yoga Instructor, will also present at the CLGNY conference on "Mindfulness Meditation: A Tool for Self-Care." The workshop will apply mindful meditation as a tool for decreasing burnout.

Angela Koeneker and Toshiko Nonaka, Child Life Specialists, have signed on to be mentors for the Child Life Council, which provides Child Life Specialists with support at multiple stages of their career to identify goals and ways to accomplish them. Angela and Toshiko will provide mentorship in the area of end-of-life interventions


Sarah Yazdian, Art Therapist and Child Life Specialist and Yuki Takahashi, Child Life Specialist, facilitated a creative arts group session to support Rosemary O'Connell's girl scout troops. The group art experience allowed the girls to connect to one another and remember their beloved troop leader. 



Brianna Silverberg is our new P4 Child Life Specialist. Previously in a coverage role, Brianna brings a new level of expertise to the role. She started this role the beginning of September and is an integral part of the care team. She provides psychosocial and emotional support for these patients and families.


Tori Levine, Child Life Specialist, will begin her new role of Child Life Specialist for the Neurosurgery Department starting the beginning of October when they move their services to Mount Sinai. She will be there one day a week providing preparation, distraction and emotional support for patients and families in their outpatient clinic. 


Victor LunaChild Life Assistant, will be transitioning to run inpatient groups in the Child Life Zone. He currently provides services to patients and families admitted for Day of Ambulatory Surgery visits. He excels in making patients and families feel welcome in our Zone environment. 


Check us out on Facebook to learn about more recent happenings.

We Lovingly Remember Rosemary O'Connell

Rosemary O'Connell was a bright light in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. She brought joy to all of the patients, families and staff members she interacted with. The staff at Mount Sinai created a series of mandalas which, together, paint a beautiful picture of who Rosemary was. This piece of artwork, seen below, was presented to Rosemary's brother and will also hang proudly in the Child Life Zone. 
Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department
Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai
One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1153
New York, NY 10029

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department | Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai | One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1153 | New York | NY | 10029