• childlife specialist working with patient

    The child life specialists at the Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children's Hospital of Savannah at Memorial University Medical Center are committed to protecting the health and welfare of all children. They regularly participate in health fairs and community events for children and families. They also offer the following services.

    PRIDE Bleeding Disorders Support Group

    Presenting Realistic Ideas to Develop Empowerment (PRIDE) is a support group for children with bleeding disorders and their families. The group meets quarterly for educational sessions or family outings. For more information, call 912-350-7285.

    SET Focus Sickle Cell Support Group

    Support and Educate for Transition (SET) Focus is a program for children with sickle cell disease and their families. The program includes monthly educational dinners, self-help sessions, and/or community outings. For more information, call 912-350-3396.

    Getz Family Foundation Oncology Support Group

    We provide quarterly activities for children with cancer and their families thanks to generous donations from the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation. These activities encourage families to connect with one another to decrease isolation and increase informal support systems.

    Teddy Bear Hospital

    This semi-annual event is organized by the child life team and held on the campus of Memorial University Medical Center. Children age 10 and under are invited to bring their favorite teddy bear or doll in for a pretend check-up. The toys go through a mock hospital and the children learn about surgery, respiratory care, X-rays, and immunizations in a fun, non-threatening environment. Various community groups also participate. There is no charge to attend. For more information, call 912-350-9336.

    Camp Sunshine

    Camp Sunshine gives children with cancer the opportunity to enjoy normal activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and arts and crafts. Camp Sunshine also offers programs for siblings and parents. Staff and volunteers from the Camp Sunshine house in Atlanta travel to Savannah several times a year to provide programs and services.

    Teen Board

    The Willett Children's Hospital Teen Board helps high school students bring joy to children in the hospital. Teens volunteer within the hospital and at community events to support the hospital. All Teen Board members are high school students in Savannah or the surrounding area and are at least 15 years old. Each teen makes a two-year commitment to be an active member of the Teen Board. The child life team supervises and organizes the program. Learn more.

    Teens HOPE

    Teens Helping Others by Providing Entertainment (HOPE) is a program that benefits teenagers who are in the hospital. Through donations and fundraisers, Teens HOPE has been able to supply laptops, DVDs, an Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 systems for use by teen patients.

    COPES for Kids

    COPES stands for Community Outreach Program through Education and Support. The COPES for Kids program is a pre-K curriculum created to help teachers provide lessons about being in the hospital or going to the doctor. The goal of this program is to help children become more comfortable with doctors and hospitals and to teach them about taking care of their bodies.

    COPES for Kids consists of three medically themed teaching kits containing large and small group lesson plans, movement and music activities, equipment for learning centers, and themed books. The kits can be checked out or borrowed for use in individual classrooms. The medically themed kits include:

    • A two-day lesson on going to the hospital
    • A two-day lesson on visiting the doctor
    • A one-day lesson on "healthy me"

    COPES for Kids is available to all pre-K schools in the Savannah area. To learn more or reserve a kit for your classroom, call 912-350-9336.

    Songs for Kids Foundation

    This nonprofit foundation brings musicians to the Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children's Hospital of Savannah every month. The music is a therapeutic intervention for the children. It encourages them to sing along, play an instrument, or create their own song. For more information, visit songsforkidsfoundation.org.