Child Life Discover

2016 Issue 2
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What's a YAC?!?

The Mount Sinai Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a committee comprised of Mount Sinai pediatric patients and has been established with the mission to enhance the patient care experience while establishing a forum that nurtures the patient voice. YAC members have been gathering monthly since Fall of 2015 to collaborate on a range of patient-care projects. Members teamed up with nursing leadership to address issues of privacy and confidentiality and to inform decisions related to hospital room design. As a direct result of the YAC’s input, privacy curtains have been implemented and design changes have been considered for future renovation projects. Additionally, the White Boards which are located in all pediatric rooms have been redesigned to promote patient-centered care and to increase communication between the patient and clinical teams. Welcome kits, offering amenities for basic care needs throughout hospital stay have also been approved! Earlier this year, Youth Advisory Members developed and produced the Mount Sinai Flu PSA, featuring Knicks basketball player, Kyle O’Quinn.
The “Get the Flu Shot” video can be seen here. The YAC also had the pleasure of being invited by singer Luke Wade to collaborate on The Zone Song with Cook Children’s Hospital. In the coming weeks, the YAC members will be featured in an original music video that was filmed in our Zone. We are excited to share the video with you in the coming months!


YAC members with Dr. David Reich, President of Mount Sinai Hospital

2016 Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Week

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department is committed to providing patients and families with innovative arts and play-based services seven days a week, 365 days a year! Every March during Child Life Week, we are delighted to pause and recognize our very own highly-skilled clinicians and services offered through a week-long celebration. Mount Sinai’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy week was held from March 7th through the 11th and featured a variety of activities, special KZTV programs, and an educational tabling event that highlighted medical play, diagnostic teaching, art therapy, music therapy, meditation, creative writing and more! Music Therapist Gabriela Ortiz and Music Therapy Intern Laura Biagiotti gave a special piano and vocal performance for the greater hospital community in the Guggenheim Pavilion and the department extended invitations to patients, families and our all-star doctors, nurses and social workers, rounding out this exciting week with a build-it-yourself, ice cream social! Special thanks to Art Therapist, Lauren Smith and Child Life Specialist, Jamie Siegel for co-chairing 2016’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy week. We are sure to keep the creativity flowing all year long!

Child Life Specialists, Brianna Silverberg and Tori Zucker (right) man the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department Education Table. Music Therapist, Gabriela Ortiz (middle), puts on a beautiful musical performance in the Guggenheim Pavilion.





We are delighted to announce a new partnership between KidZone TV and our neighbor down the street, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, an internationally renowned art institution and local NYC gem!  A new KZTV series, aptly titled GuggenHOP! allows patients and families a behind-the-scenes look at current museum exhibitions, in-depth exploration of artists and art forms with specially-designed interactive art projects for patients at bedside or in The Zone. This past March, Sharon Vatsky and Alyson Luck, Director and Manager of School Family and Youth Programs at the Guggenheim, respectively, had an exciting day of filming-on-location with Lauren Smith, KZTV Producer and Mathea Jacobs, KZTV Manager. The series launches in May and is a terrific addition to our arts-based KZTV programming! Stay tuned for our airings!

Filming at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Special Events Corner

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department has been busy this spring season inviting many special guests to the hospital to visit with patients and families. We have welcomed everyone from Mentalist Oz Perlman to Miniature Therapy Horses Honor and Hamlet. Each guest (2-legged and 4) has brought joy and fun to our Child Life Zone, inpatient units, and outpatient clinics. As you can see from the photos below, our patients and families had a great time with everyone including Lollipop Theater Network, Writopia Lab Poetry Slam, Elle Winter, Broadway Serves, Oz Perlman and the Gentle Carousel just to name a few! We even had the opportunity to stream a special LIVE tribute concert from Radio City Music Hall! "The Music of David Bowie" thanks to our friends at the Melodic Caring Project. 

Magic tricks and Magic the Horse!

Staff Accomplishments and Updates

Gabriela Ortiz and Todd O’Connor, Music Therapists, presented their poster entitled Impact of a Child Life and Music Therapy Procedural Support Intervention on Parental Perception of Their Child's Distress During IV Placement at Mount Sinai’s Child Health Research Day in April.

Gabriela Ortiz, Music therapist, was recently accepted as a candidate into the Ph.D. music therapy program at Temple University. She will begin her coursework in the fall. Way to go Gabriela!

Toshiko Nonaka, Child Life Specialist, presented her poster "Coffee talk: Supporting caregivers in PICU and PCICU" to physicians and researchers at the JMSA New York Life Science Forum, as well as facilitated one of the presentation sessions. Toshiko will also be presenting a keynote lecture "Child Life Specialists' roles in the health care settings" to Japanese pediatricians who practice medicine in the east coast at 6th meeting of Japanese Association of Pediatrics in North America. 

Lauren Smith, Art Therapist and Child Life Specialist, recently presented a clinical case study paper at the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation's 33rd annual conference in San Francisco. She also had her work, the Fiber-Based Narrative Art Therapy Intervention: A Neurobiological and Sociocultural Framework for Treating Trauma cited in Juliet L. King's recently published textbook, Art Therapy, Trauma and Neuroscience, Theoretical and Practical Perspectives.

Todd O’Connor, Music Therapist, presented at Mount Sinai Beth Israel earlier this month as part of the Turned On- Tuned In: Integrating Technology in Music Therapy & Medicine conference. His presentation was titled Re-making the Booth: Using Music Technology to Shape and Transform the Pediatric Medical Space.

Jamie Siegel, Morgan Stojanowski Child Life Specialists and Lu Borges, Child Life Tech and Media Coordinator, were chosen to present a special "Innovation, Imagination, Insipration" talk at the this years national Child Life Council conference. Their presentation was titled "Speaking their iLanguage: Creating Innovative and Relevant Diagnostic Teaching Tools that Speak to Today's Patient"

Jennifer Reeves, Child Life Specialist, will now be providing services Tuesday-Friday in the hemodialysis outpatient center. 

Lauren Smith, Art Therapist and Child Life Specialist, was recently promoted to KidZone TV Producer and Senior member of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. Way to go Lauren!

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


We Lovingly Remember Maria Victoria Maldonado

We celebrate, with great gratitude and appreciation, the life of our Video Artist in Residence, Maria Victoria Maldonado, who passed away on January 16, 2016. Victoria had served as Video Artist in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department for the past 25 years. Victoria’s long collaboration with the Kravis Children’s Hospital began in 1991, when she partnered with our Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy staff to create a visionary process for patient and family video production, resulting in our Department’s Through Our Eyes Productions programming, and later, in the evolution of our live broadcast studio, KidZone TV. Victoria was a pioneer in the use of multimodal media therapeutic collaborations in the pediatric environment.  Her work was innovative and visionary and has permanently influenced creative arts and media programming in Child Life settings nationally and internationally.

Victoria helping create a child's vision.

The 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