Recap from the Child Life Conference

June 2, 2014

I had the opportunity to represent the Pablove team at the 32nd Annual Child Life Conference in New Orleans over Memorial Day weekend. It was our first year as a participant organization, and certainly won’t be our last!

“Child Life” is a lifeline to joy and comfort for a pediatric cancer patient and their family. Specialists working in the Child Life profession help families and children cope through play, education, self-expression, and so much more. The Oscar Litwak Foundation mobile playcarts that Pablove provides to children’s hospitals, the Songs for Kids performances we sponsor, and especially our Pablove Shutterbugs photography program all fall under the essential umbrella of Child Life.

The conference gave me the chance to meet specialists who represent hospitals and regions where we’ll be bringing Pablove Shutterbugs this fall through our LIVESTRONG Community Impact Award. Everyone I met was so excited to learn more that I ran out of brochures!

It was especially wonderful to connect with child life specialists from hospitals that Pablove Shutterbugs serves in New York, Southern California, and New Orleans…many of whom I’ve spoken with over the phone but never met in person. One of our biggest cheerleaders from The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore was thrilled to see work by her patients in our Shutterfly photo book from the latest New York class. She even caught of glimpse of one of her colleagues volunteering with us in a few of the photos!

I also got to reunite with friends from Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Ochsner Medical Center, and Tulane Medical Center. The Child Life team from all three hospitals served as a vital link to patients when we launched our first Pablove Shutterbugs class in Louisiana this year. I was delighted to recount stories and successes from our recent group of New Orleans graduates.

…and this was all between the lectures, workshops, and research presentations!

The conference was teeming with knowledge, and I got to take some back to Pablove with me. My favorite lecture detailed the success of a teen video project at Children’s Hospital Colorado – valuable insight as we build out our Pablove Shutterbugs Summer Camp curriculum for teens and young adults.

Our calendar is already marked for next year’s conference in Cincinnati…and you can bet I’ll be bringing a mass supply of extra brochures in my suitcase.

– Eva Schlomann, Pablove Shutterbugs Senior Program Manager

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