March 21, 2024 Celebrating Child Life Specialists for Child Life Month

In honor of Child Life Month, we are highlighting three incredible Certified Child Life Specialists we partner with, Michael Attard from Stony Brook Children's Hospital, Ivana Man from Harlem Hospital, and Courtney Czepiga from NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Read about what motivates them in their roles as child life specialists. 


Michael Attard, CCLS

Stony Brook Children's Hospital 


 AR23-quote The thing that I enjoy most about working as a Child Life Specialist is witnessing children and families become empowered throughout the course of hospitalization. We are present for many sacred moments, and I’ve always been in awe of how resilient pediatric patients are once they know they have the strength within to carry on. Even watching patients support other patients is a heartwarming experience.AR23-quote-1


Ivana Man, CCLS

Harlem Hospital


AR23-quote What I enjoy most about working as a Child Life Specialist is forming bonds with our patients and families. There are some families I work with where formalities are no longer needed, and they know what to expect when they’re admitted. I have watched patients grow up and out of pediatric services and sometimes they reach out to say “hi.” It's also inspiring when our patients take their illness or hospitalization and turn it into something positive. One of my patients who I’ve known for a very long time decided to go into nursing. Because she spent so much time in the hospital, she wanted to be able to do for others what our nurses have done for her. I was so proud of her when she told me, as she did not let her illness stop her from pursuing her dreams.AR23-quote-1


Courtney Czepiga, CCLS

NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital 

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 AR23-quote My favorite thing about being a Child Life Specialist is being a part of a child’s story. Working with them to gain mastery over something they feared of and seeing them feel proud of what they overcame, brings me joy. It's incredible to see how children can find happiness even in the toughest of times, watching them smile, laugh, and play through their challenges.AR23-quote-1


Working closely with child life specialists is fundamental to Project Sunshine’s mission, as they offer essential emotional, psychological, and social support to children and families in healthcare settings. They play a vital role in creating a comforting and joyful hospital environment for children and their loved ones and their work is truly invaluable.

If you're a child life specialist looking for quality volunteer programming to enhance patient experience, visit our Medical Facility Partnerships page to request a call and learn more. 

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AR23-quote To alleviate some of the stress of being a Child Life Specialist, Project Sunshine helps to provide a safe space for patients to share and participate in fun, recreational play activities in our playroom and at bedside. We are grateful for their services!"


Michael Attard, CCLS

Stony Brook Children's Hospital 

AR23-quoteAs a child life specialist, Project Sunshine allows me to support patients at the bedside for procedures through their volunteers and activity kits. Because of their support, I can provide child life services to patients who need them, and confidently knowing that patients are not just sitting around waiting for me to open the playroom or requiring an activity. The Project Sunshine volunteers are an integral part of the Child Life team. The Here to Party special one-time events are a huge hit in our Pediatric Outpatient clinic, as sometimes the wait to see a provider can be long. The activities provided distract the patients and parents from the longer wait times."


Ivana Man, CCLS

Harlem Hospital

AR23-quoteWhen Project Sunshine’s activity kits or volunteers are here, I always know my patients and their families are in good hands and having fun! This allows me to spend more clinical time with patients who may need extra support that day or have an upcoming procedure."


Courtney Czepiga, CCLS

New York- Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital