Providing financial support for child life specialists is a core priority for the Friends of Jack Foundation. Beginning in September, with funds provided by the Friends of Jack, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford hired two additional part-time child life specialists for its pediatric emergency and inpatient departments. These additions provide continuous access to child life specialist services during hours of operation, including weekends, nights and holidays.
The Friends of Jack Foundation covers the salary, benefits and all associated costs of the child life specialists - an annual investment of more than $60,000. These funds are collected through donations from individuals and small businesses in and around the New Bedford region.
Molly, who was born and raised in West Virginia, is a graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, where she studied Psychology, Child Development, and American Sign Language. She worked at Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs as a camp counselor, where she developed “a passion for working with children with Autism.” This experience inspired her to pursue a career in child life. She earned a Master’s Degree in Child Life, Administration, and Family Collaboration at Towson University in Maryland, completed a child life practicum at The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida, and a child life internship at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Jersey.
In her free time, Molly loves to hike, write, make puzzles, and watch movies. She says that she is “thrilled to be starting a career at St. Luke’s Hospital.”
Ally (Alexandra) has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master of Science in Child Life and Family Centered Care from Boston University. A resident of Plymouth, she started as an intern at St. Luke's in the spring of 2020, and received her Child Life certification in March 2021. She loves spending her free time with friends, family and her dog.
“My favorite part of Child Life is being able to normalize children's hospitalization by incorporating play and laughter as well as being able to support patients and families through difficult experiences,” she said. “I am always eager to come to work to spend my time with patients and families. One of the things I enjoy most about working here is the collaboration and support within the staff.”
For more information about how you can support the Friends of Jack Foundation’s mission, contact President/Founder Jill Fearons at firstname.lastname@example.org.