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Maria Fareri Children's Life Intern Program Lands National Recognition

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team includes: Top row (L-R): Lauren Nittoli, Jeannie Sweeney, Laura Cocozza, and Gabrielle Grimaldi Bellettieri. Bottom row (L-R): Laurie Park, Tricia Hiller, and Marci Lewis.
The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team includes: Top row (L-R): Lauren Nittoli, Jeannie Sweeney, Laura Cocozza, and Gabrielle Grimaldi Bellettieri. Bottom row (L-R): Laurie Park, Tricia Hiller, and Marci Lewis. Photo Credit: Provided

VALHALLA, N.Y. – The academic internship program coordinated by the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is among the first of its kind to be accredited by the Child Life Council.

According to a statement from the hospital, the program is the first in New York and one of only five hospital-based programs in the country to earn the “new, important accreditation.”

Composed of a certified child life specialists, a board-certified music therapist and a board-certified art therapist, the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team aims to help children of all ages cope with the hospitalization process, which, depending on a child’s condition, can last months.

Coordinated by Marci Lewis, the child life internship program at the hospital prepares graduate students for a future role in the discipline, according to the statement, which noted that those who have completed the program have gone on to serve as specialists and therapists at facilities across the region.

To receive accreditation, the internship program underwent an extensive application and review process, demonstrating an ability to follow best practices in the education and training of masters prepared child life specialists as outlined by the Child Life Council, or CLC.

“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,” said Tricia Hiller, director of Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy at the Valhalla 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.”

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.

Visit the hospital online for more information regarding the child life internship program .

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