Starlight Programs Impact Kids Every Day at Cedars-Sinai

Every day, Starlight programs make their way around hospitals to sick kids through the expert guidance of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS). CCLSs are healthcare professionals that provide support for pediatric patients and their families, helping them cope with the stress and uncertainty of hospitalization. 

Sandie Sternberg, Child Life Coordinator at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, is no stranger to Starlight's programs. Her work with Starlight began over three decades ago on the Board of Directors at Starlight’s Los Angeles chapter, and her relationship to our mission continued to grow as she moved into the child life profession. 

While Sandie did not always aspire to be a CCLS, this role fits her passion and skills perfectly.

Every day is different, and I relish in all of it… I love to laugh, play, and make a difference. I’ve been told I am a calming force in a chaotic, emergent situation and I quickly developed skills I didn’t know I had regarding grief and bereavement.

- Sandie

Throughout her career, Sandie has experienced the innovative advancements made to Starlight programs, like Gaming and Virtual Reality. The technology of Starlight VR has significantly expanded and improved the pain management methods that she and the hospital use with their patients – this part of her work as a Child Life professional brings her the most happiness.  

“It warms my heart when [a child or teen] can participate in their own care, in their own pain management by using therapeutic distraction, deep breathing, or guided imagery.” 

Sandie knows first-hand the challenges and stress that kids face when receiving care in the hospital, but she loves being able to utilize Starlight programs to create normalcy in abnormal situations by allowing children to play and express themselves.  

You can help Sandie and her Child Life team receive more of the Starlight programs they need by donating to their fundraiser today. Your gift will help fund a brand-new Starlight Nintendo Gaming Station that will bring smiles to kids at Cedars-Sinai every day!

March is Child Life Month and Starlight is honored to celebrate the passionate individuals, just like Sandie, that dedicate their lives to pediatric patients at hospitals across the US. Follow along all month as we continue to spotlight the Certified Child Life Specialists we work with, and help provide the resources they need to deliver comfort to their young patients by donating today.

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