Memorial Hospital welcomes certified child life specialist to staff

Maddie Shutwell Child Life Specialist

Maddie Shutwell | Photo courtesy of Memorial Hospital

CARTHAGE, Ill. — Memorial Hospital recently announced Maddie Shutwell, certified child life specialist (CCLS), as the newest addition to its healthcare team.

As a CCLS, Shutwell’s role at Memorial will be to meet the needs of patients and families by providing education, preparation, procedural support and therapeutic play to reduce stress and enable pediatric patients to cope more effectively with their medical experiences.

Shutwell will act as an organizational and community resource by aiding in the understanding of the effects of hospitalization on children and adolescents according to their age and developmental level. She will be responsible for assisting families through the initial stages of the grieving process.

In a press release, Shutwell said, “I am very excited to bring the child life profession to Memorial. My goal is to eliminate misconceptions and fears that many children have about the hospital while increasing appropriate coping techniques. While interacting with pediatric patients, I will use developmentally appropriate language to prepare and support children with new or challenging healthcare-related experiences.”

Shutwell received her master’s degree in human development and child life from Illinois State University and completed her internship at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. She has experience working with children from birth to age 18 during hospitalization.

Families interested in utilizing Shutwell as a child life specialist can call 217-357-6578.

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