In July 2018, Mattie Miracle endowed its second Child Life Program Fund. This fund will be paying for the salary of Adina Levitan, at Children's Hospital at Sinai (Baltimore, MD). Adina is the 4th Child Life Specialist funded by Mattie Miracle since 2011.
Learn more about Adina:
Hello, my name is Adina Levitan and I am the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Child Life Specialist at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. I am so excited about the opportunity to provide child life and psychosocial services to the hematology/oncology population in the children’s hospital.
My interest in becoming a child life specialist began at the beginning of my college career. Prior to beginning my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to spend several summers working in a camp in Upstate New York for children with cancer and chronic illnesses. I was drawn to working with these children and found I was able to connect with them in the midst of their medical experiences. I considered many avenues of pediatrics and healthcare before a staff member in the camp told me about being a child life specialist. In that moment, it felt like a light bulb went off and everything clicked into place.
I began volunteering at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore. I enjoyed being able to provide play and socialization for the patients who were staying at Mt. Washington for extended rehabilitation. After completing my undergraduate degree, I began my Master’s degree at Towson University in Child Life. During my graduate schooling, I volunteered at Johns Hopkins Hospital on the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit and Pediatric Oncology Unit. Simultaneously, I completed a child life practicum at Sinai Hospital. From there I completed two more practicums at University of Maryland and Children’s National Health System. The highlight of my child life training was my internship at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York where I completed two rotations in the PICU and Emergency Department.
After completing my internship, I returned home to look for a position as a child life specialist which led me to Children’s National Medical Center where I worked for a year in the surgery center. A part of me always wanted to come back to Sinai Hospital because it is close to home, both physically and personally. As the hospital in my neighborhood, it is the place where my friends, family and community seek care and comfort during times of crisis. Especially for pediatric patients, the motto of Mattie Miracle could not be more fitting—“it is not just about the medicine,” and as the child life specialist working directly with children and their families, I have already been witness to the importance of psychosocial services for pediatrics. Whether I am preparing a patient for a procedure or planning a much-needed play activity, my role extends beyond the medicine and focuses on the child and their desire to learn, play and understand their hospital experience.