Winter 2015
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Expansion of Child Life Services


Child Life has expanded their services to the new Neuroendovascular Surgery clinic that moved to Mount Sinai in October 2014. Child Life Specialist Tori Levine plays a big role in helping pediatric patients and their families acclimate to the new clinic space and providing a variety of appropriate Child Life interventions including distraction, education, preparation, and play. Patients are able to play with developmentally appropriate toys while they are waiting to be seen, decreasing the stress of this time period. 


Child Life works directly with patients and their families to provide age appropriate explanations of upcoming procedures and/or breaking down medical terms explained by other members of the team. Additionally, they address questions that arise during appointments. Finally, if patients have a future procedure, Child Life can tour the patient and family around the various areas of the hospital they will visit, providing parents with comfort and confidence in navigating the hospital.

Patients and families can feel relaxed while they wait for their clinic appointment and have some fun too.

Diagnostic Teaching: What's It All About?

Child Life Specialists work with patients and families to assist in understanding a new diagnosis, with the patient's needs at the center. A Child Life Specialist (CLS) uses developmentally appropriate and non-threatening language, tools, and techniques to educate various populations of pediatric patients. During a teaching session with a CLS, a patient is offered the opportunity to learn about their diagnosis and treatment plan using medical materials (real and created) in a safe and supportive environment. A CLS aims to instill knowledge and understanding in a patient, with the goal of preventing misconceptions and fear surrounding their new diagnosis. Diagnostic teaching is individualized to each patient. It is the role of a CLS to meet a patient and family at their level, and to provide diagnostic teaching that will be the most beneficial in supporting a patient during a new diagnosis. 


Child Life Specialist, Angela Koeneker, works with patients in a diagnostic teaching session


KidZone TV Recognizes a Star Volunteer



KidZone TV would like to highlight one of our teens in the child life broadcast studio, Robert Millman, who was recognized as the KidZone TV Outstanding Volunteer in December 2014. Robert has volunteered with KidZone TV for the past two years and his involvement includes hosting live trivia shows, interviewing doctors, and creating content for our trivia shows. Robert also has donated numerous prizes for the patients who participate in the programming. He has been a dedicated and positive presence in our broadcast studio and brings a fun and youthful personality to KidZone TV. Thank you Robert for your continued service and work!

Robert hosting a KZTV show.
Holiday Celebrations a Success at Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department played a key part in helping patients and families celebrate the holiday season. With generous donations, team members were able to provide patients and families with gifts, visits, and lifelong memories. Santa made 2 guest appearances: video chatting with patients and families in the weeks leading up to Christmas and visiting with our inpatient population on Christmas Day. 


Patients and families has the opportunity to video chat with Santa to make Christmas requests.
Generous donations being sorted by Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team members Sarah Yazdian, Morgan Stojanowski, and Todd O'Connor
Diane Rode Honored at Mount Sinai Children's Center Foundation's Big Apple Circus Benefit

On November 9th, 2014, Mount Sinai Children's Center Foundation (CCF) held its 28th annual Big Apple Circus Benefit. Diane Rode, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department Director, along Dr. Laura Popper, was honored for her work at Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai. We are so grateful for all the work she does for this department and are so proud of her for this honor. 

Diane Rode and Dr. Laura Popper being honored at Big Apple Circus Event
Staff Additions, Accomplishments, and Updates



   Please join us in welcoming 2 wonderful new additions to our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team, Emily Tannenhauser and Abby Klock (Left to Right). 


Emily Tannenhauser joins the team as a Child Life Assistant in our Day of Ambulatory Surgery area. Emily is very important in helping our patients and families feel comfortable in the Child Life Zone and engaging patients in play to aid their coping while they wait for surgery. In her downtime, Emily enjoys playing with Ruby, her miniature dachshund.

Abby Klock is our newest Child Life Specialist joining the team as an inpatient coverage and weekend Specialist. She recently passed her certification exam (go Abby!) and brings a strong skill set to the team. When not in the hospital, Abby enjoys anything that involves being outdoors- biking, hiking, and relaxing on the beach. She is also a long distance runner and loves good food and good company.



Diane Rode, Child Life Director, presented a two day intensive workshop for both Nursing and Child Life Staff at All Children's Hospital in St. Pete's, Florida in December 2014 to assist in their leadership goal of creating Clinical Supervision staff processes.


Lauren Smith, Creative Arts Therapist, passed her Art Therapy Credentials Board certification exam. Lauren is the Art Therapy coordinator for our department and we are so proud of her!


Tori Levine, Child Life Specialist, was recently promoted to a Child Life Specialist II. Tori has expanded her role to cover the Neuroendovascular surgery clinic and continues to be a coverage specialist working in many pediatric areas. 


Jessa Carey and Jennifer Reeves, Child Life Specialists, were the recent recipients of a Zitwer grant, which will allow them to purchase additional resources to provide therapeutic distraction to patients during uncomfortable medical tests and procedures in the Pediatric Emergency Department. By increasing their supply of bubbles, light-up toys and Play-A-Sound books, they can help patients and families cope with medical treatment by redirecting children's attention away from the stressful event taking place. 


Todd O'Connor, Music Therapist, was also a recipient of a Zitwer grant award enabling him to purchase guitars. These added Music Therapy tools will help facilitate meaningful Music Therapy sessions with patients and families. 


Luis Borges, Technology Coordinator, recently hosted two "Technology for Child Life" workshops at the YAI NY offices and one "Creating Narrative Digital Media with Patients" two day workshop at The Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital in Ohio. Luis also received a Zitwer grant award for adding teen and young adult media to our iPads. Technology services go a long way in helping our pediatric population, especially adolescents, cope while in the hospital. 


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

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