Child Life

(757) 668-7327

Pre-surgery Tours Temporarily Suspended

As a part of our ongoing efforts to protect our patients, families, and staff members from the risk of COVID-19, the Child Life team has suspended all pre-surgery tours. Please watch the video above for lots of great information about what to expect on your surgery day.

What is a Child Life Specialist?

Being sick or hospitalized is difficult for children. In addition to the physical discomfort of illness, they may feel frightened, confused and overwhelmed. In essence, kids need more than medicine to get well. At CHKD, we understand that.

Our child life specialists work with patients and families to help children feel more comfortable and more in control of their hospital stay.

Child life specialists help reduce the patients' and families' anxiety and adjust to the hospital experience. Through the use of age-appropriate interventions, they help children understand their illnesses and medical procedures and develop positive coping skills.

Child life assistants encourage play for patients as they learn about their world and how to cope with new experiences. Through play, children can express their feelings and gain a sense of control.

Child Life Team Members

Mel Schemer 
Emergency Department                                                                              
Email Melissa Schemer
Phone: (757) 668-7178
Lauren Babashanian
7C                                                                    
Email Lauren
Phone: (757) 668-6912
Traci Maye
PICU       
Email Traci
Phone: (757) 668-6970
Kristi Logg 
8C
Email Kristi
Phone: (757) 668-6921
Haley Edwards 
PICU                                                                                          
Email Haley
Phone: (757) 668-7994
TBA 
Cancer and Blood Disorders


Shannon Hood
Rehab | Neuroscience
Email Shannon
Phone: (757) 668-9528
Emily Bellino 
RSIU

Email Emily
Phone: (757) 668-6195


Sherry Brooks 
Office Coordinator
Email Sherry 
Phone: (757) 668-7327
Kristina Finch
8B
Email Kristina
Phone: (757) 668-6810
Elizabeth Bowman 
Emergency Department                                                                             
Email Elizabeth
Phone: (757) 668-6941
Krystian Hudson 
Day Surgery/PACU                                   
Email Krystian
Phone: (757) 668-9032
Patricia R Taylor
Child life assistant
Email Patricia
Phone: (757) 668-8129
Amber Dallas
Child life assistant
Email Amber
Phone: (757) 668-8129
Pre-Surgical Tour
Temporarily Suspended                  
Please see our pre-surgery tour video here.
 
Chris Byrd
Music Therapist
Email Chris



Services We Provide

  • Family support to help adjust to the hospital
  • Medical play to become more familiar with the medical equipment and procedures, and encourage expression of feelings
  • Sibling visits to help brothers and sisters understand why their sibling is in the hospital
  • Coordination of special celebrations such as birthdays and holidays
  • Activities to help bridge the gap between home and the hospital
  • Psychological preparation and pre-operation tours to help patients and siblings understand and cope with healthcare experiences
  • Emotional support and coping techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing and diversion
  • Activity room and bedside programming to promote normalization to the hospital experience, peer interaction and independence
(757) 668-7327

Meet SaraLee

SaraLee is a specially trained facility dog in CHKD’s child life department. She provides mental, physical and emotional support to young patients and their families in the hospital. Learn more about how she’s inspiring patients like Luke Orlando to get out of bed and start moving again.  

 

Print our Coloring Book 

Surgery coloring book coverPatients can print our 16-page coloring book at home and learn more about their upcoming surgery while having fun, so break out the crayons!