Child Life Internship Program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital first in New York State

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

NEW YORK, NY — Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, has announced that the academic internship program coordinated by its Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team is among the first hospital-based programs of its kind accredited by the Child Life Council (CLC), a national organization representing more than 5,000 specialists that help children overcome challenging events, like hospitalization.  

To receive accreditation, the child life internship program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital underwent an extensive application and review process through which it demonstrated the ability to follow best practices in the education and training of masters prepared child life specialists as outlined by the CLC. The hospital’s program is the first in New York State and one of only five hospital-based programs in the nation to have received this new, important accreditation.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team helps children of all ages cope with the hospitalization process, which can last days, weeks or even months, depending on the child’s condition. The team is comprised of certified child life specialists, a board-certified music therapist and a board-certified art therapist. 

Each team member has advanced training related to helping children in medical settings. Techniques employed include procedure preparation, therapeutic play and creative writing as well as art and music therapy.

The child life internship program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, coordinated by child life specialist Marci Lewis, MPH, CCLS,  is akin to a “child life residency program” through which qualified graduate students gain experience working with children hospitalized in an advanced care setting under the direction of the hospital’s Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team. The internship prepares graduate students for a future role in the discipline and many former program interns are now employed as child life specialists at facilities around the region, including Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. 

“The CLC accreditation is proof positive of the quality of our academic internship program and the child life services we provide to our pediatric patients as a whole,” remarked Tricia Hiller, MS, CCLS, Director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is an academic institution that is helping to train not only tomorrow’s pediatric specialists, but also its child life and creative arts therapy specialists.  We are proud to receive this accreditation and expect it to lead to even more qualified applicants.”

For more information regarding Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s child life internship program, please visit