Child Life Month Spotlight: Wendy at Banner Children's - Thunderbird

March is Child Life Month and Starlight is excited to celebrate the passionate individuals that dedicate their lives to pediatric patients at hospitals across the US, like Wendy Pauker, the Associate Director of Child Life at Banner Children’s at Thunderbird. 

When asked what her favorite part of being a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) is, Wendy explained that “every day is different, and every family has different and individual needs. You never stop learning as a CCLS. Now as a Director, I love sharing my knowledge and skills with new CCLSs.”  

Wendy has been a CCLS for 30 years and has united her passion for children with her interest in the hospital environment. She is grateful that her job allows her to alleviate some of the burden and stress that families feel as they deal with the most difficult challenge for any parent – having a sick child. 

I get the most happiness when I walk into a patient’s room, introduce myself, tell them what I do, and they breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have my support.

- Wendy

Throughout her years as a CCLS, Wendy has seen first-hand how Starlight programs can impact a child’s journey in the hospital. Her favorite programs are the Starlight Gaming stations and Starlight Radio Flyer Hero Wagons.  

The latest Hero Wagons have become an excellent resource to the hospital team at Banner Children’s. They are more comfortable and roomier, making them a cherished resource for so many families during their child’s hospital stay. But they aren’t just great for rides around the hospital — the nurses at Banner Children’s even use them as a mobile crib and play station, safely bringing a baby or toddler with them to the Nurses’ Station while the child’s caregiver has to leave for any reason.   

This month, Starlight wants to give back to Wendy and her Child Life team that work every day to deliver moments of comfort and happiness to their patients. You can help us by donating to fund the Starlight Gaming station on Banner Children’s Wish List, which will provide hours of entertainment and fun to sick kids during the times they need it the most.

Be sure to follow along all month as we continue to spotlight the Child Life professionals we work with and help get them resources they need to deliver comfort to their young patients by donating today.

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