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Child Life Program Improves Hospital Experience

Munson Medical Center’s Child Life Program provides one-on-one attention to help calm children’s fears, earn their trust and cooperation, and ease them through any kind of medical procedure they may face.

A child life specialist works directly with pediatric patients in the Emergency Department, as well as hospitalized children and teens.

The goal is to make the hospital a less scary, confusing place for children and teens – and their parents.

The child life specialist assists busy medical and nursing staff members by helping a child’s stay go more smoothly and providing the time, attention, and in-depth teaching needed to calm patients and families.

Families are not billed for Child Life services or for the books, toys, pillows, and other comfort items given to children as part of the program.

“I’ll do whatever I can to help. I love my job. I feel privileged to help kids by doing what kids do best – playing. We get them through whatever they have to get through.” -Munson Medical Center Child Life Specialist Lisa Gates

Pediatric Activity Room Offers Space for Fun

Munson Medical Center’s pediatric unit has an activity room that allows kids to be kids during their hospital stay. The room is stocked with games, toys, and activities that fit every age group from 1 to 17.

The activity room became possible through a $30,000 fundraising effort to honor Amy McLean Calder, wife of Emergency Department physician Mac Calder, DO, who passed away in October 2015. Before staying home to raise her children, she worked as a child life specialist in the Detroit area.

The bright, colorful  360-square-foot space includes  a table and chairs for crafts, padded infant corner,  toddler kitchen, crafts, games, puzzles, toys, and up above, a cloud-like skylight. Supplies include paints, paper, and wood for crafts. Patients can create their own artwork and take it home with them.

Donations of Time and Toys

The Child Life Program is grant funded. Please call 231-935-2502 if you:

  • Are 18 years or older and would like to volunteer your time to the Child Life Program; must be willing to commit for at least six months

  • Would like to donate toys or games; please check with us before making donations as only specific items are allowed to ensure our patients’ safety