Child Life team

Mar 26, 2020 / Spotlight

Child Life Spotlight: Empowering Children and Families to Master Challenges in Health Care

As an organization, we are committed to treating the “whole child” - mind, body and spirit. Through our multidisciplinary team of experts, we make sure the patient is comfortable at every stage of their treatment. The Child Life department helps to achieve this positive experience and is a resource at the Dallas and Frisco campuses. Through this spotlight, we hope you will understand a bit more about the field of Child Life and learn how you can contact the department for your next visit.

What Is Child Life?
Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) focus on the social, emotional, developmental and educational needs of children and teenagers in the hospital setting. To help reduce fear and promote coping during the visit, a CCLS can provide the following services to your child:

  • Prepare and support the patient for medical procedures
  • Educate them about their diagnosis
  • Teach coping techniques to use during medical experiences
  • Engage in medical play
  • Provide outlets for self-expression
  • Support for brothers and sisters

Being Admitted as an Inpatient at the Dallas Campus?
Staying at the hospital can sometimes be stressful. Children may be nervous, worried, have questions and/or have behavioral changes prior to a hospitalization.

  • A CCLS will meet with your child on admission day to provide age-appropriate preparation for their hospitalization and answer any questions they may have.
  • Pre-admission tours are an extra service available to your child. These can be beneficial to help alleviate nervousness prior to admission day.

Here for a Clinic Appointment?
Coming to the hospital for a clinic appointment can be stressful, too! If your child is nervous or has questions about coming to their appointment, a CCLS can help prepare the child by answering questions as well as be present for the following:

  • Cast removal
  • IV placement
  • Lab draw
  • Surgery discussion
  • Joint injection
  • Radiology procedure (MRI, CT, ultrasound, VCUG, etc.)
  • New diagnosis
  • Brace compliance
  • Pin removal
  • Pill swallowing
  • Dressing change
  • Anything potentially stressful

Services at the Frisco Campus:

  • Two Certified Child Life Specialists
  • Work with patients who are seen in the Fracture Clinic:
    • Prepare patients for casting and procedures 
    • Develop a coping plan
    • Provides support throughout casting
  • Sports Medicine:
    • Provides support throughout procedures (joint injections, suture removal, etc.)
    • Pre-op tours
    • Presence on surgery day
  • The team also provides their services to the following departments:
    • Rheumatology and Infusion
    • Orthopedics
    • Radiology
    • Orthotics & Prosthetics
    • Physical and Occupational Therapy
    • Day Surgery 

Who Makes Up the Team?
Certified Child Life Specialists are professionals who are certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). They hold bachelors and/or master’s degrees in child development, psychology or a related field. Their training includes a specialized internship in a pediatric hospital setting. Other team members include program coordinators, who have a background in child development and volunteers assist the activity coordinators in organizing patient activities in the inpatient playroom.

Meet Our Child Life Team
Ashleigh Kinney, L.C.S.W. (Director, Child Life) – Dallas
Andrea Brown, B.S., CCLS – Dallas 
Molly Bass, B.S., CCLS – Dallas 
Mellina McCormick, B.S., CCLS – Dallas 
Ashley Hargrove, M.S., CCLS – Dallas 
Morgan Brinson, M.S., CCLS – Dallas 
Dulce Rubio, Child Life Program Coordinator – Dallas 
Remington Rosene, Child Life Program Coordinator – Dallas 
Laurie Hamilton, M.S., CCLS – Frisco
Marissa Willis, B.S., CCLS – Frisco 

How to Contact the Child Life Department?
As a parent or caregiver, you can request that any staff member contact a Certified Child Life Specialist to meet with your child during their appointment.

To schedule a visit with a Certified Child Life Specialist or a pre-admission tour, please contact the Child Life department. 



Learn more about the Child Life department.


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