June 17, 2005

Information flows at Child Life Conference

Featured Image

From left, Lynn Stevens, Patti Smith, Maggie Heinburch and Raye Pietruszka go on a tour of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt with Crystal Smith, a Child Life specialist at the hospital, during the 2005 Child Life Council Conference.
photo by Dana Johnson

Information flows at Child Life Conference

Last week, more than 800 Child Life professionals from around the world gathered in Nashville for the Child Life Council's 23rd Annual Conference. This is the first time the event has been held in Nashville and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt hosted the event.

Janet Cross, director of Child Life Services and Family Resource Center at Children's Hospital, serves as the chair for the local planning committee for the Child Life Council (CLC). She said hosting the event meant providing quite a bit of information about Children's Hospital's Child Life practices, including tours of the hospital, and providing contacts throughout the city as well.

“I'm honored to have the opportunity to bring members of my profession to Nashville and especially to the hospital,” Cross said. “I had the chance to tour the executive board and they were very impressed with the hospital. I am extremely proud of my staff and colleagues who represented us at the conference.”

The CLC has more than 2,800 members in 15 countries, all working to meet the psycho, social and developmental needs of patients and to help alleviate stress caused by their health care experiences.

Children's Hospital has 14 certified Child Life specialists who work with patients and their families to help alleviate any stress and anxiety young patients may experience.

Cross was excited about the networking opportunity the conference provided for the Child Life specialists on staff at Vanderbilt.

“Networking with other Child Life specialists from around the world will give us the opportunity to draw upon expertise and learn to perfect our techniques,” Cross explained.