Children’s Hospital New Orleans Celebrates Opening of Child Life Center

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NEW ORLEANS  – Children’s Hospital New Orleans is celebrating the opening of its Child Life Center, one component of a $300 million campus transformation. Funded by donations from the Krewe of Tucks, Spirit of Children, the Maureen and Whit Huguley Family Fund and others, the Child Life Center provides a “spacious and engaging environment for children to thrive and find joy while receiving care in the hospital,” said a spokesperson.

“An integral part of clinical care that sets a children’s hospital apart is its Child Life Program,” said Rene Guilbeau, the hospital’s director of child life and creative therapies, in a press release. “Child Life Specialists make all the difference when it comes to attending to emotional safety and ensuring best practice for infants, kids and teens. I am thrilled that our team now has a space that matches the level of care they provide.”

The center features a new child playroom, a teen lounge, a sensory room for those with special needs, and a dedicated space for children to gather for music, play, art, activities, games and more. 

“Being in a hospital setting can be scary for any child,” said the hospital’s Chief Experience Officer Scott Macicek, MD. “We believe that kids should be kids even when they are sick, and Child Life programs not only lead to better overall patient and family experiences, but also support improved quality and better patient outcomes.”

The Child Life Center’s spacious multipurpose space is surrounded by glass windows that fill the space with natural light and inviting views of the hospital’s campus. The space will be used for special events, patient game nights, holiday gatherings, performances and more. An enclosed sensory space was planned for those with neurological conditions, Autism and other special needs. Sensory integration rooms are designed to create “safe and enriching environments where users of all ages are empowered to enjoy a variety of activities that fully engage their senses,” said a spokesperson.

“Our transformed campus was designed with patient and family-centered care at the core, and the new Child Life Center is a wonderful representation of that,” said Children’s Hospital President and CEO John R. Nickens IV. “It is incredibly fulfilling to see the joy that this new space brings to our patients, along with the impact of our extraordinary child life and creative therapies team.”

To learn more, visit chnola.org.

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