About Our Team

Director of the Child Life Program

The Director of the Child Life Program is in charge of the operations of the Child Life Program. As a certified Child Life Specialist, the director supports the mission of family-centered care of The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Child Life Specialists

The Child Life Specialists are prepared at the bachelor’s or master’s level in child development and are specially trained to help children and families cope with hospitalization. The goal of a child life specialist is to make sure a child’s psychological, emotional and developmental needs are met during all aspects of the hospital experience.

Child Life Specialists provide support during a child’s illness and hospitalization using medical teaching and various distraction techniques. They also teach children about hospitalization, illness and injury, using hands-on learning techniques such as special medical dolls and puppets.

Art, play and creative expression activities are also used by child life specialists to give pediatric patients and their families emotional support.

Child Life Assistants

Working under the supervision of a child life specialist, Child Life Assistants provide opportunities for play at the bedside or in the child life centers.


Volunteers help the child life specialist to provide play activities at the bedside or in the child life centers. Following the completion of an orientation, volunteers work under the direct supervision of the child life specialists.

Registered Nurse

A Registered Nurse is the coordinator of the Family Teaching Program, a pre-operative program providing education for children having surgery or other medical procedures at BMSCH.

Art Therapist

The Art Therapist helps children, adolescents, and family members cope with anxiety and stress by providing developmentally appropriate creative interventions to encourage healthy self-expression. Utilizing a variety of art methods and materials, the Art Therapist works in close collaboration with the Child Life team to address the social and emotional needs of patients, and their families.