Helping Kids Heal

Helping Kids Heal

A remarkable team of specialists helps kids being treated at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital feel more at home — and more like themselves.

By Lauren Crawford
Photos by Eric Bronson

Spring 2016
Share Email Print
Text: A

Kelsie McStockard’s office is a bit unique. Instead of filing cabinets and office supplies, she has a PlayStation 3, a Wii and a model MRI machine — complete with four stuffed animal “patients.” Rocket ships and stars dapple the walls; there are cut-outs of Disney princesses, SpongeBob and Spiderman everywhere. A craft cart houses numerous toys and coloring supplies.

McStockard is a certified child life specialist in the Department of Radiology at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She is a member of a team whose sole purpose is to help children and their families feel more like themselves within hospital walls — the Child and Family Life services department, or CFL.

Founded in 1922, CFL is the oldest service of its kind in the country. Over the past century, it has grown and evolved, addressing the full scope of young patients’ needs. Today, there are more than 40 specialists throughout every inpatient area at Mott and multiple outpatient areas. CFL has a giving library, a sibling support program that has quarterly pizza parties, and regular art and music therapy sessions. The patients and families never have to pay for any of the services, as more than half of CFL’s funding comes from donations. The remainder is subsidized by the University of Michigan Health System.

Although CFL looks a bit different on every floor, each unit employs the same philosophy: reduce the difficulties of hospitalization, and promote positive growth and encouragement.

McStockard has been a part of the radiology department’s CFL team for almost all of its three-year history. “I have the best job ever,” she says. “I get to play with kids and make sure they understand what’s happening — and that they have fun.”

View more photos from our flickr gallery.

Photos by Eric Bronson