Child Life

Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital Navicent Health provides a team of Certified Child Life Specialists who work with patients and families to help reduce the stress and anxiety that can be associated with hospitalization. The Child Life team works to meet the developmental, psychosocial, and emotional needs of patients and their families by providing the following services:

  • Facilitating medical play opportunities to help children better understand their hospital experience.
  • Preparing patients and their families for upcoming procedures, surgeries, and hospitalizations.
  • Implementing distraction techniques for patients during stressful procedures.
  • Providing emotional support to siblings, caregivers, and families affected by a patient’s diagnosis, treatment, or hospitalization.
  • Providing developmentally appropriate activities, toys, and games to promote normal growth and coping.
  • Coordinating support groups.
  • Supervising the activity room and providing age-appropriate play activities in a group setting.

Meet the Child Life Specialists

Child Life Practicum

Each Spring and Fall semester, the Child Life Department offers a Practicum for Child Life Students in the process of pursuing a degree in Child Life or a related field at a college or university. The Child Life Practicum is a minimum of 100 hours as suggested by the Child Life Council. The program is designed to give students clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist in preparation for applying for Child Life Internships. For more information or to complete an application, please click here.

If you have further questions, please contact Megan McGraw, CCLS at 478-633-6736 or email McGraw.Megan@NavicentHealth.org.

Child Life Internship

Each Spring and Fall semester, the Child Life Department offers an Internship for Child Life Students in the process of pursuing a degree in Child Life or a related field at a college or university. We provide a minimum of 600 hours which satisfies the Child Life Council’s requirement of 480 hours. This internship provides students with hands-on experience and clinical training under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist in preparation to take the Child Life Certification Exam and to apply for professional Child Life positions. For more information or to complete an application, please click here

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Abby Wilder, CCLS at 478-633-1276 or Wilder.Abby@NavicentHealth.org
Amanda Dougherty, CCLS at 478-633-6539 or Dougherty.Amanda@NavicentHealth.org

Give Back

We are so very thankful for everyone who wishes to give back to the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health. There are several ways to become involved at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.

Material Donations: With the help of our generous community, we strive to make sure that each patient can still be a child while in the hospital by providing them with opportunities for play and normalization. We offer everything from toys and arts and crafts to video games and movies to make them feel more comfortable during their hospitalization. If you are interested in helping by donating material items, please click here for a copy of our current Donation Wish List. Due to infection control, all items must be in new condition, and we are unable to accept latex balloons or items promoting violence. Please note if you are donating handmade items, such as blankets or hats, they must be washed in an allergen free detergent and come from a smoke-free home.
If you would like to set up a time to drop off a donation, please contact Heather Trescott, CCLS at 478-633-6734 or email Trescott.HeatherN@NavicentHealth.org.

Monetary Donations: In addition to our wish list items, we also rely on monetary donations to help make each patient experience as pleasant as possible. Philanthropic dollars allow the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health to purchase the “extras” such as therapy items for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, specialized medical equipment for our various pediatric units, pediatric wheelchairs, child life iPads for used for distraction, and much more. Your donation is tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

For monetary donations, please contact Navicent Health Foundation at 478-633-GIVE.

Visiting Groups

Throughout the year, we host community groups and organizations in our General Pediatrics Activity Room in order to provide patients and families with opportunities for normalization. Interested groups are asked to bring an activity, typically a craft or game, and facilitate it with the patients in a group setting. This allows the kids a chance to get out of their rooms, interact with others, and have fun while undergoing treatment.  Examples of activities include:  painting birdhouses, decorating pumpkins, making bracelets, etc. Visiting Group Activities are held Monday-Friday at 11am-12pm and 2pm-3pm.  For more information, please click here for a copy of our Visiting Group Guidelines.

If you would like to schedule an activity, please contact Heather Trescott, CCLS at 478-633-6734 or email Trescott.HeatherN@NavicentHealth.org.

Special Events and Programs

Holly Jolly Shoppe

  • The Holly Jolly Shoppe is Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital Navicent Health’s program for patients and their families who must spend the holidays at the hospital. The in-hospital toy store is built and operated by hospital staff, corporate partners, and community volunteers who invite parents of hospitalized patients to “shop”- free of charge – for gifts for their patient child and siblings. For more information or to schedule a time to drop off your donation, please contact Heather Trescott, CCLS at 478-633-6734 or email Trescott.HeatherN@NavicentHealth.org.

Trick or Treat Parade

  • Each October, we host a Trick or Treat Parade for patients who must spend Halloween in the hospital. This is an opportunity for patients and families that may have missed out on festivals, trick or treating, school parties, or other fall activities due to hospitalization to still participate while undergoing treatment. If you are interested in donating new costumes or store bought individually wrapped candy or prizes to the parade, please contact Megan McGraw, CCLS at 478-633-6736 or email McGraw.Megan@NavicentHealth.org.

Character, Celebrity, and Professional Sports Team Visits

  • If your organization is interested in visiting the patients at the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital Navicent Health, please contact Heather Trescott, CCLS at 478-633-6734 or email Trescott.HeatherN@NavicentHealth.org.

Pet Therapy

  • Our Pet Therapy Program consists of a local group of volunteers that bring their Certified Therapy dogs to visit the hospital and interact with the patients and families. This is a wonderful opportunity for those undergoing hospitalization to feel the love and comfort that a Certified Therapy dog can provide. For more information regarding this program or to get involved, please contact Megan McGraw, CCLS at 478-633-6736 or email McGraw.Megan@NavicentHealth.org.

Music Therapy

  • We provide clinical hours for Music Therapy students from Georgia College and State University during the Spring and Fall semesters. For more information please contact Amanda Dougherty, CCLS at 478-633-6539 or email Dougherty.Amanda@NavicentHealth.org.

Download Special Events Guidelines

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