Plaits, Puffs & Play: Interventions & Methods to Promote Normalizing Black Hair in Play

Black hair stories have long been depicted through movies, songs and books to offer insight to the history and ideologies surrounding the Black hair experiences; This workshop will share that history, discuss the firsthand experience of the three presenters, and specifically highlight how to support black children in the hospital setting by focusing on interventions related to Black hair in play, coping and patient/family centered care.

Learning Objectives:
- Examine the history of Black hair in America and learn strategies to encourage open dialogue with Black patients and families.

- Discuss and engage in play interventions to understand incorporate and destigmatize Black hair.

- Learn new strategies for providing culturally supportive preparation, coping strategies, and therapeutic conversations.


Domain: DEI (domain of your choosing)

Jessica Whittington, CCLS, CTRS, CBIS

Advanced Child Life Specialist

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Jessica has been employed with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on the Rehabilitation Unit in Children’s Seashore House as a full time Certified Child Life Specialist/Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist  since 2015. Professionally, Jessica began her work as a CTRS in 2010 and obtained her certification as a Child Life Specialist in 2015 and. In 2019, Jessica became a Certified Brain Injury Specialist to best support providing therapeutic and play interventions to patients with acquired & traumatic brain injuries often served on the rehab unit. 
In addition, Jessica is currently co-chair of the CHOP Child Life, Creative Arts and Education Department's Diversity & Inclusion Committee to invite dialogue and action around overcoming diversity barriers, social justice, and practicing inclusion. Jessica has served as a member of the Rehab Patient & Family Experience Committee  and Disorders of Consciousness Committee- an interdisciplinary task force with CHOP rehabilitation team to address supporting patients with limited levels of consciousness.

Michelle Rainear

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Michelle began her career at CHOP as a Child life Assistant in their Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy department in 2003. Under the leadership of Elena Brewer, the role name changed to Child Activity Coordinator in order to clearly identify differences between the Child Life Specialists. After working on the rehab unit for five years she was moved to the integrative care services unit, which is a step-down unit from NIU, and ICU then moved to the Adolescent Medicine unit where she still works today. Michelle has developed a hospital wide teen program called “Club 416” that happen twice monthly and teen movie night. She has also created a way for the teen patients that are unable to leave the unit to participate in one of the hospital’s biggest special events “prom” by transforming the unit’s teen room into a photo booth and runway so that they can still get dressed up and take professional photos. She also has worked on the hospital wide special events committee and has hosted several shows on our close circuit TV station Galaxy 51. Michelle has an Associates degree in early childhood development and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she plans to go get her master’s degree in Recreational Therapy.

Meghan Mack

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Meghan Mack is a certified child life specialist and registered nurse currently working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After obtaining her bachelors degree in nursing, in 2011, Meghan earned her masters degree in child life and began her career at CHOP as a CCLS in the hemodialysis unit. She worked there for three and a half years before transitioning out of that position. Meghan now works full time as a registered nurse. 
In addition to her main role, Meghan has also professionally represented CHOP in news pieces, hosted many hospital wide events and presented as an invited keynote speaker in the multicultural professionals network within the CHOP enterprise. Meghan is a published author of a medical children’s book titled, “Doctor, Doctor, What Do You Do?”.


Plaits, Puffs and Play: Interventions and Methods to Promote Normalizing Black Hair in Play & Coping
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5 Questions
6 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  5/6 points to pass
6 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  5/6 points to pass
1.00 PDU credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 PDU credit  |  Certificate available