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  • Establishing the Role of Child Life as the Stem Cell Transplant Donor Advocate for Donors of Pediatric and Adult Patients

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​Research has shown pediatric patients serving as donors for stem cell transplants often lack preparation, express fears about the transplant process, and almost all experience a lack of choice in the donation process (Pentz et al., 2014). SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Assessment

    Research has shown pediatric patients serving as donors for stem cell transplants often lack preparation, express fears about the transplant process, and almost all experience a lack of choice in the donation process (Pentz et al., 2014). This session will recognize the necessity of requiring child life as an advocate for the donor throughout the entirety of the stem cell transplant process.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Assessment

    Objectives:
    Explore the significance of the donor advocate role through the entirety of the stem cell transplant process.
    Discuss and review an assessment tool created by child life specialists to implement at their own facility.
    Identify specific obstacles when working with children in unique familial circumstances during the transplant process.

    Brittany L. Blake

    CCLS

    Brittany Blake has been a Certified Child Life Specialist for over 8 years and has served patients in several areas, including hematology/oncology, PICU, day surgery, and chronic illness. She has a MS degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Child Life from Texas Woman's University. Currently, Brittany is a full time instructor of Child Life at Harding University. Brittany also serves as the Chair-Elect for the ACLP Conference Program Committee.

    Emily Bell Hood

    CCLS

    Medical City Children's Hospital

  • There's No Place Like Home: A Community-Based Palliative Care and Hospice Program

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​This presentation will highlight one outpatient, community-based program that provides compassionate care to patients and families on either palliative care or hospice services from two pediatric hospitals. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    This presentation will highlight one outpatient, community-based program that provides compassionate care to patients and families on either palliative care or hospice services from two pediatric hospitals. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the insights gained by both a community-based child life specialist and a medical social worker and will examine the differences between hospital and community-based practices.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    Objectives:
    Discuss the structure and goals of an innovative community-based palliative care and hospice program.
    Explore child life and medical social work community-based practice.
    Explore the opportunities and obstacles faced in a community-based clinical practice and make application for safety and professional boundaries in field work.

    Stephanie Barta

    CCLS

    Stephanie is a certified child life specialist with six years of experience in high acuity patient care settings. Stephanie graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Child Life and minors in Spanish and Theatre Arts. Stephanie was a child life specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for five years before accepting her position as a community child life specialist with Methodist Le Bonehur Healthcare in the Quality of Life for All Kids Program in Memphis, TN. This program provides compassionate care to palliative and hospice eligible patients and families in hospital housing facilities and in the Memphis community.

    Cheryl Garrett-Fergerson

    Licensed Master Social Worker

    Cheryl Fergerson is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She is currently working the Quality of Life for All Kids (QoLA) program in the Methodist Lebonheur Healthcare System as a Medical Social Worker. Prior to working with QoLA, Cheryl worked with Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit as a medical social worker. She also has more than 14 years of experience in child welfare with The Tennessee Department of Children's Services. She was responsible for the supervision of five counties for Child Protective Services, Foster Care, and Juvenile Justice Programming. Cheryl also serves as an adjunct professor in the University Of Memphis School Of Social Work and the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) School of Social Work. She completed her Bachelor's Degree at The University of Memphis in Sociology. Her Master's degree was also obtained from The University of Memphis in Social Work. Cheryl is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. She is also currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Social Work (DSW) at Capella University. She is in candidacy now, will have final approval of her dissertation, and plans to graduate later in 2019. The title of her dissertation is ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and Self‐care: An Examination of Child Protective Services Investigators.

  • What Do Kids Express Online About Illness?

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​This presentation will outline research conducted from analyzing 3.8 million online interactions about illness from pediatric patients. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

    This presentation will outline research conducted from analyzing 3.8 million online interactions about illness from pediatric patients. For example, 53% express uncertainty (fear, anxiety, feeling helpless), 38% express desperation (anger, resentment, frustration), and 9% express confidence (control, appreciation, empowerment). This session details strategies to engage with and support young people with serious illness online.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

     Objectives:
    Identify places where young patients interact online about their illness.
    Explore the three primary reasons that young people choose to interact online about illness.
    Explore supporting young people with serious illness online.

    Kristi Pikiewicz

    Educational Psychologist

    After working as a middle school teacher in Bozeman, MT, I returned to school to earn my PhD in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA, with a dissertation exploring posttraumatic growth in parents of chronically ill children. I completed internship at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center in Ojai, CA, and postdoctoral fellowship at the Boulder Institute for Psychotherapy and Research. Now I work in private practice and as an Educational Psychologist at Mackintosh Academy in Boulder, CO.

  • Ambiguity or Uncertainty? Exploring Stress in Child Life Specialists

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​This presentation shares results of a study investigating the role intolerance of uncertainty might play in the stress CCLS experience. Professional quality of life was also measured. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    This presentation shares results of a study investigating the role intolerance of uncertainty might play in the stress CCLS experience. Professional quality of life was also measured. The presentation also includes information on current mindfulness research and the role of meditation and mindfulness in intolerance of uncertainty and anxiety. There are no studies describing mindfulness-based interventions with CCLS.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    Objectives:
    Discuss mindfulness, meditation, and intolerance of uncertainty.
    Explore the role intolerance of uncertainty might play in doing the work of a child life specialist.
    Explore how mindfulness may impact intolerance of uncertainty and professional quality of life.
    Discuss the steps necessary to carrying out research in a practice setting.

    Megan K. Abbott

    CCLS

    Stephanie Andrews

    Director of Program Development

    Stephanie is the Director of Program Development at the Center for Professional Well-Being at Children’s Mercy, Kansas City. The only University of Massachusetts certified MBSR teacher in the area, she leads MBSR teaching at Children’s Mercy. She also teachers other mindfulness-based interventions, provides support to staff, and provides family therapy. Stephanie led the establishment of ASAP (Aligning Support Across Providers), a response to staff after distressing events. She received her Master’s degree in social work from the University Of Kansas and completed a fellowship at the Menninger Clinic.

    Sandra Ganey

    Presenter

    Kelly Trowbridge

    CCLS

    Kelly works at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City in the Center for Professional Well-Being. She participates in research, teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and other mindfulness-based interventions, provides support to staff, and provides family therapy. She received an undergraduate degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin, a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas, and a PhD from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has also authored several publications.

  • Becoming the Difference: Building Positive Staff Relationships in Healthcare

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Child life specialists promote mutual respect, a common purpose, and open communication with the healthcare team while ensuring quality care for patients and families. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    Child life specialists promote mutual respect, a common purpose, and open communication with the healthcare team while ensuring quality care for patients and families. This session will provide participants with a basic overview of how to establish productive staff relationships as well as discuss strategies and provide tools needed to sustain relationships, solidify child life services, and increase collaboration.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

     Objectives:
    Discuss the need and benefits of establishing positive relationships with nursing, interdisciplinary, and medical professionals.
    Explore child life services to help promote collaboration in order to maximize patient and family satisfaction in the healthcare setting.
    Explore the variety of personalities, temperaments, and work cultures a child life specialist may encounter.

    Kayla C. Harrison

    CCLS

    Kayla Harrison has been a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Health in Dallas since 2014. During her time at Children’s, Kayla has worked in the Heart Center – CVICU, inpatient floor and clinic. Within the Heart Center, Kayla has provided formal education with new employees and nursing students regarding child life services. As a specialist responsible for both an ICU and inpatient setting, Kayla has to balance working with a variety of personalities and work styles. Outside of the Heart Center, Kayla is committed to students, both serving on the student programming committee and as as student supervisor, which affords her the opportunity to mentor a wide range of young professionals.

    Keeley Machen

    CCLS

    Keeley has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2016. She is currently employed at Children's Health Dallas and spent two years as the Emergency Department Child Life Specialist. Within the Emergency Department Keeley provided formal education to new employees, volunteers, and local fire chiefs on the importance of Child Life. Currently she is the Child Life Specialist for Gastroenterology and Medical Surgery, which has allowed her to work with variety of patients and medical staff professionals. Additionally, Keeley is the chair of the Child Life Recognition Committee which helps increase staff morale and awareness of child life hospital wide.

    Elizabeth E. Peterson

    CCLS

    Lizzy has a been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2014. She has spent four years in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Health Dallas, which serves a variety of surgical and medical conditions, newborns through adolescence. Through her clinical role, Lizzy has the opportunity to work with a variety of healthcare professionals and personalities on a daily basis. She assists with her units recognition and teamwork committee and twice a year attends Camp Sol, a weekend retreat for siblings and families experiencing the death of a child. In addition to her clinical role, Lizzy is a member of her department’s Student Programming Committee and serves as the child life representative on the hospital wide Schwartz Center Rounds and ECMO Reunion committees. Lizzy has experience presenting to hospital staff, child life peers, and volunteers on the topics of child life services, death, and bereavement.

  • Expanding Procedural Comfort Initiatives and Self-advocacy from Pediatrics to Adult Care Settings

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​This session will provide insights about how to use interdisciplinary partnerships to meet both institutional and professional goals. A journey of partnerships with patients and leadership, evidence utilization and persistence has resulted in a system-wide change to reduce procedural pain and anxiety with adult and pediatric patients. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Ethics

    This session will provide insights about how to use interdisciplinary partnerships to meet both institutional and professional goals. A journey of partnerships with patients and leadership, evidence utilization and persistence has resulted in a system-wide change to reduce procedural pain and anxiety with adult and pediatric patients.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Ethics

    Objectives:
    Discuss three evidence based strategies for decreasing pain and anxiety with needlesticks and procedures.
    Explore the components and benefits of an individualized Poke and Procedural Comfort Plan.
    Explore strategies that help overcome challenges of implementing evidence based practices and building bridges for change.

    Michelle Churches

    Clinical Affairs Staff Specialist

    Michelle Churches is a Clinical Affairs Staff Specialist for the Office of Clinical Affairs Accreditation and Regulatory for Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and her MSN in Health Systems Leadership graduate degree from Gonzaga University. Churches has practiced pediatric nursing for over twenty-five years and has been involved in pain management, quality improvement and evidence based practice changes. She has participated in the development of the individualized procedural plan in pediatrics and is part of the implementation team leading education to bring this initiative to the adult care settings in ambulatory and inpatient settings at Michigan Medicine. Churches was a nurse lead for support in development of nursing guidelines for Procedural Pain and Anxiety Management. She was a team lead at Kellogg Eye Center at Michigan Medicine for the implementation of the Poke Plan in the adult ophthalmic patient population. Churches has worked in emergency medicine, ambulatory care settings, inpatient and perioperative areas for adult and pediatric patients. She utilized her change management knowledge and experience to support quality and safety initiatives and now continues to work to support strategies and education for Michigan Medicine’s Office of Clinical Affairs to ensure accreditation and regulatory compliance across the enterprise. Improved patient experience is always her goal.

    Nancy Deeb

    Patient/Family Advisor

    Nancy Deeb is a patient/family advisor at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan and is on the comfort initiatives team to roll out the Poke Plan institution wide. She has experience being a patient at Michigan Medicine as well as a parent of a patient, spouse of a patient and daughter of a patient. Nancy has a B.S.N. from the University of Michigan. She worked in nursing at The University of Michigan as a floor nurse, ICU nurse, nursing administrator, outpatient nurse, and clinical research coordinator. She is currently retired.

    Sandra Merkel

    Clinical Nurse Specialist, Acute Pain Service

    Sandra Merkel was Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Pediatric Acute Pain Service at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and an Adjunct Nursing Instructor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sandra received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and her graduate degree from the University of Michigan. Merkel has practiced pediatric nursing for over forty years and has been involved in pain management, quality improvement and evidence based practice changes. She and colleagues developed and validity the FLACC pain assessment tool which is utilized by clinicians throughout the country and world. Merkel has also participated in the development and revision of two position papers for the American Society of Pain Management Nursing. Merkel was the nurse lead in the development of the Poke Plan and develop of nursing guidelines for Procedural Pain and Anxiety Management. She was the project coordinator for the implementation of the Poke Plan in the adult ophthalmic patient population. After retirement Merkel continues to work with Pain Management Nursing and participates in the strategies and education for Michigan Medicine’s health system’s Poke and Procedure Program.

    Julie R. Piazza

    CCLS

    A Certified Child Life Specialist for over 30 years serving both pediatric inpatients and outpatients and their families in a large university teaching hospital, Julie Piazza has collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to facilitate patient and family centered initiatives hospital and system wide, many of these initiatives have been related to reducing pain and anxiety with needlesticks and procedures. An educator for medical and nursing students, Julie has served as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer for the child life degree program and residential colleges at three local universities. Julie has presented at several regional, national and international conferences for: child life, community partnership, innovation, healthcare informatics, social work, pediatric anesthesia, pain management, quality improvement, leadership, science and technology, and patient family centered care.
    Areas of Expertise:
    • Pediatric Pain Management
    • Teambuilding and Leadership
    • Patient Family Centered Care
    • Healing Environments
    • Community Partnerships
    • Staff Development: Training, Mentoring & Leading
    • Creating and Telling the Story
    • Therapeutic Interventions
    • Respite and Comfort Initiatives across the Age Span

    Credentials: MS BS CCLS Degree: Masters of Science Year: 1984
    School: Wheelock College Major: Children’s Health Care Administration
    Degree: Bachelors of Science Year: 1981 School: Iowa State University Major: Child Development
    Child Life Certification: 1987-2022 Contact Information: julipiaz@med.umich.edu julipiaz1@gmail.com 734-368-2907 mobile

  • Putting Our Pieces Together: An Inter-Professional Approach to Becoming a Sensory-Friendly Hospital

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​In a country with a rising prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) diagnoses, health care facilities need to evolve their approach in caring for these patients. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: ASSESSMENT

    In a country with a rising prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) diagnoses, health care facilities need to evolve their approach in caring for these patients. Spearheaded by child life specialists, this hospital assembled an inter-professional team to initiate a sensory-friendly culture change to provide better and safer care for pediatric patients with ASD and SPD. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Assessment

    Objectives:
    Explore the basics of sensory processing and sensory profiles.
    Explore successful strategies and roadblocks encountered in changing a culture to become more sensory-friendly.
    Identify an inter-professional team strategy to achieve increased staff comfort in caring for patients with ASD/SPD.

    Nicole Johnson

    Cardiac Child Life Specialist

    Inova Children's Hospital

  • Charting the Course for Parental Presence in the Operating Room

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    ​Parental presence during anesthetic induction - a review of one hospital's journey to implementing a successful program that is responsive to the needs of children, families and staff and that is sustainable over the long-term. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

    Parental presence during anesthetic induction - a review of one hospital's journey to implementing a successful program that is responsive to the needs of children, families and staff and that is sustainable over the long-term. Examine key elements to initiating a viable program and creative ways to ensuring its success.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

    Objectives:
    Discuss the current literature on parental presence during induction of anesthetic and the evolution of its practice.
    Explore effective ways to initiate a parental presence during induction program.
    Discover creative ways to sustain a parental presence during induction program in spite of economic challenges and changes to health care provision and staffing.

    Leigh Banfield

    CCLS

    Leigh Banfield, BASc., CCLS has been a child life specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for the past 18 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Family and Social Relations from the University of Guelph and a post graduate diploma in Child Life Studies from McMaster University. She has worked in the emergency department and inpatient surgery, but has spent the last 14 years working in perioperative services covering patients and families in the pre-assessment clinic, surgical day unit, operating room, and post-anesthetic unit. Leigh has landed coverage in parenting magazines and broadcast outlets lending her expertise around preparing children and youth for surgery. Leigh’s career ambitions have led her to develop several patient and family-centered care initiatives including the parental presence at induction program. This program empowers families to support their children in the operating room creating positive outcomes for children, youth and families.

  • Conducting Research with Children and Parents in the Hospital: Challenges, Strategies, and Findings From a Study Evaluating the Role of Child Life Specialists

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This presentation will detail the process of conducting a quantitative study examining child and parent psychosocial experiences during child hospitalization. The results indicate families who received child life services tended to demonstrate better outcomes. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

    This presentation will detail the process of conducting a quantitative study examining child and parent psychosocial experiences during child hospitalization. The results indicate families who received child life services tended to demonstrate better outcomes. Presenters will discuss challenges in conducting research in the hospital environment and collecting dyadic data as well as implications for practice and for future research.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Intervention

    Objectives:
    Discuss current research support for Child Life Specialist services.
    Discuss the benefits of engaging in research to demonstrate the efficacy of child life services.
    Explore challenges in conducting research in a hospital environment.

    Amy Claridge

    CCLS

    Dr. Amy Claridge is an associate professor in family and child life at Central Washington University and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is the director of the Family and Child Life master's program at CWU and is engaged in child life research in collaboration with graduate students. She is the chair-elect of the ACLP Research Proposal Subcommittee.

    Lauren Hajec

    Presenter

    Lindsay Montgomery

    CCLS

    My name is Lindsay Montgomery and I am currently a Certified Child Life Specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital. I have my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Washington University. I worked closely with the university to help create the first Child Life degree program in the northwest. Throughout my graduate degree, I taught courses for the university on a teaching assistantship and continued to teach as an adjunct instructor following graduation. I completed my thesis on the efficacy of child life services by collecting data from a nearby children’s hospital as the start of what is now a larger longitudinal study. Beginning at Seattle Children's as a per diem across all units, I then moved to my role in the Emergency Department before settling into my current home on the inpatient cancer care unit. I am passionate about balancing my love for patient care with my goals to explore empirically-based advances in child life services.

  • Patient Remembrance: A Model for Processing the Death of a Patient Through Departmental Social Support

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Death is an inevitable component within the child life profession that often correlates with compassion fatigue and burnout. This presentation aims to explore a model of one child life department's structured staff intervention related to processing the death of patients. SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    Death is an inevitable component within the child life profession that often correlates with compassion fatigue and burnout. This presentation aims to explore a model of one child life department's structured staff intervention related to processing the death of patients. Furthermore, this presentation will explore the potential need to create an individualized model for child life specialists to incorporate within their own institutions.  SUGGESTED DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility

    Objectives:
    Explore the need for staff interventions related to processing the death of patients in the health care field.
    Explore one department's structured staff intervention that aims to provide child life specialists an opportunity to process the death of patients.
    Discuss grief processing into individualized model .

    Katie Elizabeth Greer

    CCLS

    Katie Greer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Development at The University of Arizona. She then continued her education and completed a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Child Life in Hospitals at Mills College in Oakland, California. Katie has been working as a child life specialist since January of 2017 and joined the child life team at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in January of 2018. She currently works with patients of all ages in the assessment/triage as well as procedure outpatient areas. Katie’s passion for grief related topics and interventions inspire her to look at ways in which staff may benefit from further supportive services utilizing theories and concepts within the field of child life.

    Shandra Taylor

    CCLS

    Shandra Taylor earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The University of Louisville. She continued her education at Towson University, where she completed her Master of Science degree in Child Life, Administration, and Family Collaboration. Shandra joined the child life team at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in January of 2018, where she currently provides services to patients of all ages in diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology.