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Winthrop University Hospital

Starlight Children’s Foundation Supports Launch of After-Hours Program for Teens



Winthrop’s Child Life Program is committed to addressing the unique emotional, social and physical needs of all childhood patients – from infants to young adults – with the support of a dedicated team of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS). A recent grant from the Starlight Children’s Foundation of NY*NJ*CT, whose Pediatric Hospital Support Program has benefited the Child Life Program at Winthrop for more than a decade with approximately $200,000 in grants, has enabled the Hospital to launch the new “See the Stars Come Out at Night” program – geared toward adolescent and teenaged patients to help them cope with the hospital experience.

Under the supervision of a CCLS, the “See the Stars Come Out at Night” program addresses the unique social and emotional needs of older hospitalized children through organized evening activities such as music, games and arts that foster creativity, team-building and friendly competition among peers in the Activity Center of the Hospital’s Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center.

The program operates “after hours” in the evening when the younger patients have returned to their rooms, so that the older pediatric patients have an opportunity to express their feelings, address any fears and share coping strategies in a relaxed atmosphere.

“It has always been our goal as Child Life Specialists to normalize the hospital stay for all of our patients. As such, we wanted to create a program where older patients could socialize and have a comfortable atmosphere where they could simulate activities that they would participate in outside of the hospital,” said Nicole Almeida, MS, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop. “Thanks to the generous support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, we have been able to launch such a program.”

For 25 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. The Foundation has been an avid supporter of Winthrop’s Child Life Program, providing vital funds to meet the staffing needs of the program and donating items such as entertainment centers equipped with flat-panel televisions, DVD players and Nintendo Wii Systems to provide hours of interactive play for patients.
Vol. 19, No. 2
Summer 2009

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