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Golisano Children's Hospital / Wegmans Child Life Program

Wegmans Child Life Program

In April 2014, the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation generously donated $7 million to the Golisano Children's Hospital. While $6 million of the Foundation's gift supported the construction of the new building, $1 million will be used to establish an endowment to increase the quality of Child Life programs, services, and facilities. In recognition of this gift, the children's hospital's Child Life Program has been renamed the "Wegmans Child Life Program." The generous support of the Foundation is further recognized on the seventh and eighth floors of the new children's hospital, where the Wegmans Child Life Zone is named in recognition of the Foundation's support.

Wendy Lane Coordinator and PICU Child Life Specialist
Wendy Lane - Coordinator and PICU Child Life Specialist

Child Life Specialists

The child life specialists at Golisano Children's Hospital are trained and certified to care for the emotional and developmental needs of children and families. They can help children cope with the fear and anxiety associated with a hospital stay by explaining what is happening to them in terms that they can understand. They also coach parents on "how to talk" to their children during traumatic times which encourages children to express themselves freely.

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of child life specialists are to:

  • Ease children's fears and anxiety that is often associated with being in the hospital. One way we help them cope is by creating activities that strengthen self-esteem and independence.
  • Prepare and support children, teens, and families for their medical experience in terms they can understand. Pre-operative teaching is provided when a child is undergoing surgery. Pre-admission tours are available by request.
  • Serve as a resource for patients, families, and other hospital staff regarding child development and the needs of children under going a medical experience.
  • Facilitate normal growth and development by providing play opportunities and social interactions in child and teen friendly environments. Facilitate tutoring needs for patients.
  • Support family relationships by encouraging both parents and siblings to visit and be a part of the health care experience.

"Here at Golisano Children's Hospital we are committed to supporting the needs of the children and families. Our goal is to minimize the negative impact of health care experiences while maintaining individual growth, development, and family relations. Children teach us so much about living and coping. We are their guides, but they are their own leaders when it comes to facing the challenges they face in life. It is an honor and a privilege to support the needs of children and families."
Wendy Lane, MS, CCLS

Hospitalized Children get an Interactive Experience with Strong Museum of Play

Heather Reyes, M.D., Assistant Professor - Pediatric Critical Care, and Wendy Lane, Manager for the Wegmans Child Life Program, spoke with Rochester First (Oct. 19, 2021) about The Strong National Museum of Play's new "WeGo" robot, a tool that allows children to see, hear and interact with fun museum activities from their hospital room. "This partnership with WeGo and The Strong museum will allow us to provide engaging and interactive virtual experiences for our patients outside the four walls of their hospital room," Reyes said.

View more at: New Strong Museum partnership helps hospitalized children get interactive experience.