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Friday, August 5, 2016

Child Life Internship Program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital First in New York State, One of Five in Nation to Receive National Accreditation


CONTACT:   Andy LaGuardia
(914) 493-6532


VALHALLA, N.Y. (August 4, 2016) – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, has announced that the academic internship program coordinated by its Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team is among the first hospital-based programs of its kind accredited by the Child Life Council (CLC), a national organization representing more than 5,000 specialists that help children overcome challenging events, like hospitalization.

To receive accreditation, the child life internship program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital underwent an extensive application and review process through which it demonstrated the ability to follow best practices in the education and training of masters prepared child life specialists as outlined by the CLC. The hospital’s program is the first in New York State and one of only five hospital-based programs in the nation to have received this new, important accreditation.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team helps children of all ages cope with the hospitalization process, which can last days, weeks or even months, depending on the child’s condition. The team is comprised of certified child life specialists, a board-certified music therapist and a board-certified art therapist.

Each team member has advanced training related to helping children in medical settings. Techniques employed include procedure preparation, therapeutic play and creative writing as well as art and music therapy.

The child life internship program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, coordinated by child life specialist Marci Lewis, MPH, CCLS, is akin to a “child life residency program” through which qualified graduate students gain experience working with children hospitalized in an advanced care setting under the direction of the hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team. The internship prepares graduate students for a future role in the discipline and many former program interns are now employed as child life specialists at facilities around the region, including Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

“The CLC accreditation is proof positive of the quality of our academic internship program and the child life services we provide to our pediatric patients as a whole,” remarked Tricia Hiller, MS, CCLS, Director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is an academic institution that is helping to train not only tomorrow’s pediatric specialists, but also its child life and creative arts therapy specialists. We are proud to receive this accreditation and expect it to lead to even more qualified applicants.”

For more information regarding Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s child life internship program, please visit http://westchestermedicalcenter.org/ChildLifeandCreativeArtsTherapy.

About Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a Member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is the children’s hospital for New York’s Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Located in Valhalla, NY, this 136-bed advanced pediatrics facility cares for the region’s most seriously ill and injured children including those in need of cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, hematology and oncology treatments, organ transplants and other specialty pediatric services. Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is also home to the area’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Level I pediatric trauma and burn care programs and its Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. For more information on Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, interested parties can visit www.WestchesterMedicalCenter.org/MFCH or follow the hospital at www.Facebook.com/MFCHatWMC and www.Twitter.com/MFCHatWMC.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1, Level 2 and Pediatric Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State, today WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit www.WMCHealth.org.