Child and Family Life celebrates 100 years of patient care as first program of its kind in the U.S.

Did you know: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was the first hospital to establish early play programs and a hospital school program for pediatric patients?

“The programs at Mott first began in 1922,” said Lindsay Heering, director of Child and Family Life at Mott. “Over time, the Child and Family Life program at Mott grew to include recreational therapy and evolved into the thriving, multidisciplinary team we are today.”

The Mott team is made up of more than 75 staff members from a variety of disciplines, including certified child life specialists, board-certified music therapists and art therapists, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, learning specialists, patient technology specialists and child life assistants.

“Our mission is to support the psychosocial, developmental and emotional needs of pediatric patients and their families through coping, comfort and education,” Heering said.

“Play, art, music and gaming are all tools for therapeutic interventions, which help us build rapport, relationships and trust with patients and families, assess their individual strengths, preferences, and needs, and provide avenues for patients and families to cope with pain, illness, hospitalization, separation, and loss. They appreciate the support we’re able to offer and the joy, smiles and memorable moments we’re able to create for them even during some of their most difficult times.”

‘An exciting milestone’

March is National Child Life Month, and 2022 is a special year for the Mott Child and Family Life team as they celebrate 100 years of patient care.

“This is an exciting milestone for our Mott team, and for our profession,” Heering said. “Now, there are close to 600 child life programs within hospitals across the globe, and we’re honored to be the first program to offer this care for patients and their families.”

The team will be celebrating the milestone throughout the rest of the year.

“Our team has been developing creative ways to celebrate with our patients and recognize our incredible team members,” Heering said. This includes special play, art, music and gaming activities for patients and recognition opportunities of Child and Family Life staff throughout the year.

Help us in congratulating the Mott Child and Family Life team on 100 years of extraordinary patient care!