Community displays outpouring of support for SBUMC pediatric patients through Child Life Program


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    Hundreds Contributed or Gave Their Time and Talents in 2009

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., January 22, 2010 – Pediatric patients at Stony Brook University Medical Center, along with their families, received an outpouring of gifts, including toys, games, and monetary contributions, in what was a banner year and holiday season in 2009 for the Child Life Program at SBUMC. Additionally, more than 40 groups came to SBUMC to visit, talk with and/or entertain the children during their hospital stay.

    “The children and their families have benefited incredibly from this show of support from Stony Brook University Medical Center and our entire Long Island community,” says Paulette Walter, M.A., C.C.L.S., of the Child Life Program. “The generosity makes hospitalization a little easier and less stressful on the children, and their families, and the Child Life team would like to thank everyone who contributed in this way to make the year an extraordinary one.”

    The contributions and support for the program varied considerably in 2009. Walter says the children received visits from professional hockey and baseball players, Stony Brook University student athletes, and were entertained by artists and musicians, such as those from the Port Jefferson Arts Council.

    Many SBUMC employees and area residents in 2009 sponsored patients and provided funds for certain gifts, events, parties, meals for families, and artwork for the pediatric in-patient clinic. For example, a group of Anesthesiology residents and nurses from the Coronary Acute Care Unit raised funds to adopt a family through the Child Life Program. During the holidays, the Branch Brook Elementary School in Smithtown ran a toy drive for in-patients.

    The Child Life Program also runs events annually to support the program, particularly the Run for Children during the fall.

    Through the Child Life Program at SBUMC, professionals provide therapeutic, educational, and recreational activities to meet the unique emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children. Activities include medical play therapy, games, arts and crafts, as well as specialized programs such as animal assisted therapy, music therapy, and birthday and holiday parties. For more information about the Child Life Program call 631-444-3840, or online at /pediatrics/childlife

    Stony Brook University Medical Center Child Life specialists with some of the toys and gifts pediatric patients received last year. From left: Paulette Walter, Lauren Sharaby, and Megan Kusterer.