OUR PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

MEET THE TEAM

OUR TEAM MEMBERS

Andy Mangione Standish, CCLS

Standish Foundation Founder, President

BOARD DIRECTOR, LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER

Samuel Golter said, “There is no profit in curing the body if in the process we destroy the soul.” Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” It is where those two quotes intersect that you will find the work, hopes and dreams of Ms. Mangione. An experienced Child Life Educator and Certified Child Life Specialist, Ms. Mangione is an advocate, educator, practitioner, trainer, mentor, volunteer and consultant. She has worked extensively to promote and support the rights and needs of ill children and their families and has helped introduce sustainable child and family friendly healthcare practices globally. Ms. Mangione is a keynote speaker and workshop presenter discussing her passion to implement sustainable practices to make healthcare more child and family-friendly. It’s been a pleasure for her to speak to: fellow child life specialists, doctors, nurses, residents, psychologists, hospital play specialists, and allied health professionals in the USA as well as in Italy, Brazil, Japan, Jordan, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Israel, Georgia, New Zealand, Egypt and the Philippines. Ms. Mangione has volunteered on medical missions in: Brazil, China, Jordan, Nicaragua, Egypt, Vietnam, Honduras, Ethiopia, Laos and the Philippines. She has worked with children and families in the acute and chronic settings in the following units: oncology, hematology, pediatric intensive care, emergency department, inpatient surgery, outpatient surgery, acute dialysis and outpatient dialysis. Ms. Mangione loves her poodles, traveling, reading, sewing and everything Texas. She claims her two favorite aromas are cinnamon rolls and jet fuel. And yes, she loves purple.

Casey Fisher

Casey Fisher

BOARD MEMBER, LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER, and Standish Foundation Interim CEO

Casey is a native Texan, having grown up in a small town on the Texas Gulf Coast. He spent most of his formative years fishing, playing sports, and performing manual labor for his father. He attended Texas A&M where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution. He suffers from recurring delusions each August, continually thinking this is the year the Aggies will win another Football National Championship. Luckily this problem is short-lived, typically passing by early November. Casey’s business career started in consulting, where he worked for Ernst&Young in their process improvement consulting practice in Dallas. Next he joined Compaq Computer, when they were the largest manufactured of personal computers and servers in the world. After almost 5 years with Compaq, he joined Apple where he spent 11 years in a number of executive roles. He worked for Apple in Cupertino, Singapore, and Austin. He left Apple to join Ceva Logistics, a global logistics provider where he served as the regional CEO for South East Asia based in Singapore, the Regional CEO for Australia and New Zealand based in Melbourne, Australia, and as the Head of Business Development based in Austin. He now serves as the Managing Partner of Provident Global Advisors, a consulting firm focused on interim executive services and business improvement consulting. Casey is currently serving as the Standish Foundation Interim CEO. He works with the Board of Directors to Ensure the Foundation’s mission is achieved in the most effective means possible. Casey is a family man, and loves most any activity outdoors. He is the devoted husband, proud father of three children, and the meal ticket for two dogs. He spends most of his free time watching kids sporting events, but tries to sneak in some running and golf when time allows. Along with his wife Kristy, he serves in the children’s ministry program at his church, and is an Ambassador for Pine Cove Ministries.

Megan DiBartolo, CLHMS, CNE

Standish Foundation Secretary, Board of Directors

BOARD MEMBER

Mrs. DiBartolo was born and raised in Houston, TX where her parents founded and ran a private, international school and taught her a strong work ethic from a young age. While Mrs. DiBartolo’s passion for real estate began as a teenager her career officially started in 2003. In 2004, she joined McVaugh Custom Homes as a sales associate where she had the opportunity to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity. In 2005 the McVaugh team was recognized by the National Association of Builders as the Small Volume Custom Home Builder of the Year.

In 2006 Mrs. DiBartolo relocated to Austin, Texas with her husband where she was a marketing associate for Stewart Title, served on the membership committee of the Austin Home Builder’s Association, and volunteered for the Austin Board of Realtors Foundation. By 2007 Mrs. DiBartolo joined The Winnett Group in Flintrock Falls and has since earned the Certified Luxury Marketing Specialist and Certified Negotiations Expert designations. A member of the Million Dollar Guild, based on real estate sales that represent the top 10% of the market, Mrs. DiBartolo’s business management degree and interest in productive marketing help propel her in the field.

In 2013 Mrs. DiBartolo co-founded and began developing HipPocketz Beta™, a private real estate listing marketplace which launched with great success in 2015. Mrs. DiBartolo is a member of the Austin Board of Realtors, The Texas Board of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Mrs. DiBartolo enjoys family time with her husband Giovanni and daughter Giuliana, traveling, cooking, interior decorating, photography, running, boating, wake boarding and being with friends. In 2015, she was invited to serve on the Board of Directors for The Standish Foundation for Child and Family Centered Healthcare, which she considers a great honor.

Rebekkah Schear, MIA

BOARD MEMBER

Rebekkah has spent her career working at the intersection of global health, education, and international development. Over the last seven years at the LIVESTRONG Foundation, she has led the Foundation’s implementation of six international programs throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. Her work focused on building capacity of cancer NGOs to make health policy more patient-centered; training cancer survivors to become advocates; and reducing cancer stigma through improving knowledge and changing attitudes by empowering survivors to share their cancer stories.

In her current role, she oversees strategy and implementation of the Foundation’s Navigation services and patient-centered cancer care programs, including the programmatic building of the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes, a new, innovative model of cancer care that has a simple yet powerful mission: to reinvent the way cancer patients and survivors are cared for and supported.

Bekkah’s passion for serving community has been ingrained from a young age, as she spent time volunteering in her mother’s elementary school special education classroom. Her work in international development kicked off with a journey circumnavigating the globe on a ship in 2003, and this path has provided her the opportunity to work on issues ranging from gender empowerment, to poverty reduction, to HIV/AIDS, to global education spanning from Cambodia, to China, to the United Nations, to Botswana. She brings many of the lessons to her work and role with the Standish Foundation that her students imparted upon her when she worked as a classroom teacher in low-income communities of Los Angeles. Rebekkah holds a BA in Mass Communications from UCLA and a Master of International Affairs in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University. In her spare time, Rebekkah teaches Dharma Yoga, a Tibetan-Buddhist influenced style of yoga, where she lives in Austin, Texas.

Ellen Steele, M.Ed, Ed.S.

LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER

Ellen grew up in Northwest Ohio, as the youngest of four. She attended Bowling Green State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After working for a year in a juvenile justice center for teen aged girls and boys, Ellen strove to intervene with children at a younger age. She earned her master’s degree in education, as well as an educational specialist’s degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and earned the credential of Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Ellen lived and worked in Michigan, Hawaii, Maryland, and Illinois, before settling in Texas. Ellen continues to work as a licensed specialist in school psychology at the elementary school level in Austin.

Ellen is the mother to three boys, and they enjoy spending time camping with the Boy Scouts, playing baseball, swimming, and taking music lessons. They love to spend time on the lake, and summers are spent in the water.

While living in South Texas, Ellen was introduced to the work of Child Life Specialists. A family member currently works as a Child Life Specialist in Corpus Christi, and was able to help Ellen’s son through a potentially difficult medical procedure. When Ellen learned of the opportunity to work with the Standish Foundation in a support role, she jumped at the chance. Ellen assists with coordinating meetings and events, general administrative work, and coordinating trainings for our board members. She is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but prefers not to brag about it!

Lisa McWhorter, MS, CCLS, CPMT

Standish Foundation, Program for Military Kids

AMBASSADOR

After receiving her master’s degree in Child Life and Family Centered Care at Wheelock College, Lisa’s passion for serving children and families in need on a global level led her to travel to Cape Town, South Africa. Lisa volunteered as a CCLS to aid in the introduction of child life services at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital while in South Africa.

Upon returning to the states, Lisa worked at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., prior to moving to Jacksonville, Fla., where she piloted a child life program for children of adult patients receiving hospice care at Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. Lisa and her family then moved to DC where she worked at Inova Children’s Hospital as a PRN CCLS, which allowed her to work in all inpatient and outpatient settings within the hospital to further broaden her child life skill set and experience.

Most recently, Lisa was living in Japan with her family and volunteering with American Red Cross and Operation Smile while providing distance support to Child Life United. Lisa and her family have since returned to the states and Lisa is currently working with Standish Foundation for Children to bring the 4MilKids child life program to military families.

Thomas McNeely Hobson, MHA, MMEd, MT-BC, CCLS

Chief Outcomes Officer

LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER

The words of Audrey Hepburn, “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”, have driven Thomas McNeely Hobson throughout his education and career. This drive, coupled with his determination and ingenuity lead him to create opportunities where others see obstacles. Mr. Hobson and his brother were raised by their parents in locations all over the southeastern United States. Since childhood, Mr. Hobson exhibited a desire to help those in need. At age four, Mr. Hobson offered to console his brother by singing to him, and thus began his quest to connect with and bring comfort to people through music. After studying music in South Carolina at Presbyterian College, Mr. Hobson sought to expand his knowledge and skill by studying music therapy. During his studies at East Carolina University, he completed a music therapy internship at Florida State Hospital, a large state mental hospital. However, it was his work at Pitt Memorial Hospital, on a pediatric unit, which ultimately drew him to working with hospitalized children. In pursuit of this mission, Mr. Hobson began working at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee since 2002 where he became the first Director of Child Life Services. Concurrently, he served as the Interim Child Life Consultant for Sidra Medical and Research Center in Doha, Qatar. Mr. and enjoyed assisting the hospital to develop its first child life program. Currently, Mr. Hobson is serving as the Business Manager to the Children’s Research Foundation Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. With a desire to deepen his leadership knowledge, Mr. Hobson went on to earn a master’s degree in healthcare administration. He has held a number of volunteer positions at the Child Life Council and the American Music Therapy Association. Creative, intuitive and humorous, Mr. Hobson’s blog about his work with hospitalized children here and aboard is an inspiration to his colleagues as well as to his patients and their families. Mr. Hobson looks forward to working with Standish Foundation, and is most excited about knowing that children and families will benefit from this global collaboration.

Shani Thornton, MS, CCLS

Standish Foundation Social Media + Marketing Manager

LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBER

Certified Child Life Specialist, Child Life Mommy, Blogger, Private Practice

Shani is a Certified Child Life Specialist and a parent of two young boys. She recently relocated back to her hometown in Northern California after living with her family in New York City for over a decade. She is an energetic, compassionate leader in the child life community, who loves to fill gaps in service and think outside of the box.

She has an educational background in recreation administration and graduate degree in child life. Shani has worked in a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation unit, a long term children’s facility and has volunteered as a bereavement facilitator at a local children’s hospital.

Shani created a child life and parenting website/blog, called ChildLifeMommy.com and uses social media to share her resources. She provides information to caregivers, child life specialists, students, educators and pediatric clinicians.

She launched a child life private practice in her community, providing home visits, phone consultations, caregiver workshops and support to local programs and schools. She published a children’s preparation book, “It’s Time For Your Checkup: What to Expect When Going to a Doctor Visit” and volunteers as a committee chair member for the Association of Child Life Professionals, Community-Based Non-Traditional Role Committee. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Bank Street College, co-teaching an online graduate child life course.

In her spare time, she loves to work out, mountain bike and compete in athletic races. She also enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her kids and watching reality TV with her two puppies, Tank and Monkey.

Cheri Oliveri

AMBASSADOR

Cheri Oliveri is from Killeen, Texas, but was born in Maryland during a family visit. She pursued her education in early childhood education and business. She was a preschool teacher for many years, has vast experience in real estate management, and has successfully partnered in building and ultimately managing multiple multi-million dollar businesses from the ground up.

Mrs. Oliveri is forthcoming about being raised by a single mom and struggling financially. As an adult and a professional she is dedicated to giving back and has spent countless hours volunteering with Believe in Tomorrow, Christ Episcopal Church Day School, and the Standish Foundation for Child and Family Centered Healthcare. She also encourages her children to give and serve.

Mrs. Oliveri’s family includes her loving and supportive husband, six children and one grandson, and she understands, perhaps better than most, the importance of child and family centered care, and how difficult traumatic situations can be when it is absent. Her two oldest daughters have undergone three brain surgeries between them to correct complications from Chiari Malformation with Syringomyelia. Additionally, at a young age, Mrs. Oliveri’s son was diagnosed with Aspergers, a high-functioning form of autism.

There was a time when Mrs. Oliveri was a single parent struggling to set up payment plans to secure treatment for her children. Her background has left her full of compassion and the desire to take her past and turn it into a positive for others.

Mrs. Oliveri describes her daughters’ brain surgeries as life altering. She experienced first-hand how hospital staff, including doctors and nurses viewed their responsibilities simply as day jobs; the sterile environment and lack of warmth, communication and nurturing; and she knew instinctively there was a need to address how children experience healthcare. She knew children, her children, deserved to feel safe and unafraid when going to a hospital, staying in a hospital and facing the unknown. She also came to understand wholeheartedly how crucial open communication is between doctors, nurses and parents.

Mrs. Oliveri has taken those experiences and turned them into a passion for serving, and she has made a difference. Today, her daughters are grown and doing well—one of them is studying to be a pediatric neurologist.

The Oliveri Family spends much of the year in Annapolis and has made it home in order to be close to John’s Hopkins where Dr. Ben Carson has performed all three of the girls’ brain surgeries. However, Mrs. Oliveri and her husband, who is a University of Texas graduate, love Austin and have made it their second home for more than a decade.

Caroline Armington, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Standish Foundation, Liaison to the Board of Directors, USA, South Africa

After studying at the University of Mary Washington, Caroline Armington’s enthusiasm for serving children and families led her to Wheelock College where she received her masters degree in Child Life and Family Centered Care in 2009.

To expand her global perspective, Ms. Armington studied abroad in Australia, interned in London, worked in South Africa and volunteered in Rwanda. Along the way, her determination to assist families coping with medical treatments earned the admiration of her colleagues, professors and family. Her interest in how people live, cope and play all over the world continues to drive her passion for international work.

Ms. Armington helped pilot child life services in Cape Town, South Africa providing comprehensive psychosocial support for children and families at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. She also joined an international team of healthcare providers on their inaugural Operation Smile South Africa mission to Rwanda.

Since returning to Massachusetts in 2010, Ms. Armington worked in the Emergency Department at Newton Wellesley Hospital, at Shriners Children’s Hospital- Boston, and most recently on the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

As an Standish Foundation Advisory Council Member and Liaison to the Board of Directors since 2010, Ms. Armington joined teams in Taipei and Jerusalem meeting with local healthcare providers and presenting on approaches to child- and family-centered care.

Since starting a family of her own, Ms. Armington has taken on the new role of raising her children full time. However, the drive to collaborate with determined and compassionate practitioners worldwide who seek to improve the healthcare experience for children and families continues to serve as the basis for Ms. Armington’s commitment to the Standish Foundation.

 

Arash Babaoff, MD, Ctrop

ADVISOR

Staff Attending Pediatrician, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Medical Director, Yanez Barragan Ecuador Project Pediatric Board and Quality Assurance Task Force, Operation Smile International USA, Ecuador, Global

Born to loving Iranian table tennis Olympians of different faiths in Lausanne, Switzerland, Dr. Babaoff was blessed with frenetic energy and a strong sense of adventure and independence. A profound love for all people, especially the most vulnerable, coupled with his lifelong passion for meeting people of many cultures and languages continue to inspire him.

The Babaoff family’s move to the USA and the birth of his sister, Atosa were pivotal events in his young life. Love, compassion, tolerance and diversity were abundant in his life and key in his pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in history and psychology. His special connection to children and adolescents was evident by his closeness with his sister, devotion as a summer camp counselor and guidance as a high school history teacher upon college graduation.

Interested in helping and acutely aware of the suffering around him, Dr. Babaoff’s decision to apply for medical school was inspired by a college classmate’s cancer diagnosis. He not only enjoyed gaining the knowledge to heal patients, but also took time getting to know his patients, was nourished by the intimacy of the interactions, and learned to become a patient and compassionate physician.

Dr. Babaoff chose to pursue his residency and his career at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he has worked in the Adolescent Medicine Division, Transport team and the Emergency Department since 1993.

Believing that medicine is an international language that should be practiced as such, Dr. Babaoff began his volunteer work abroad in 2001. Combining his lessons from childhood, his medical knowledge and his respect and devotion to people of diversity, he has made volunteering a way of life. In addition to the many medical missions, Dr. Babaoff is the co-founder of an NPO providing healthcare to the people in the Bolivar Province in Central Ecuador.

Joining Standish Foundation furthers his belief that once again, healthcare is an international language finding its voice.

Amy L. Baxter, M.D., FAAP, FACEP

ADVISOR

C.E.O., Founder, MMJ Labs LLC, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, USA, Global

A wife, mother, physician, educator, mentor, CEO and inventor, Dr. Amy Baxter thoughtfully balances her many diverse roles. Dr. Baxter graduated from Yale University and Emory Medical School and completed a Pediatrics Residency, Child Abuse Fellowship and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship.

As a pain management researcher, advocate and pediatric emergency medicine physician, Dr. Baxter invented Buzzy® and Bee-Stractors DistrACTION™ cards when the oldest of her three children met a “needle wielding fiend.” Buzzy grew from a desire to put inexpensive reusable pain control in the hands of parents and patients and has become a valuable addition to pain management in pediatric care. Among other recognition for her pioneering efforts, Dr. Baxter has received the Huggies “MomInspired” award and the 2011 Medical Design Excellence award for the patented Buzzy® and Bee-Stractors DistrACTION™ cards.

When she is not thinking of new ways to use Buzzy®, she is director of Emergency Research for Pediatric Emergency Medicine Associates at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Scottish Rite, and a Clinical Associate Professor at Medical College of Georgia. As a founding board member of the Society for Pediatric Sedation, Dr. Baxter lectures nationally and publishes on pain and procedural sedation. Dr. Baxter is on the Pediatrics Board for Medscape; she is currently NIH funded to research immunization needle pain relief in children.

Dr. Baxter is also recognized for her devotion to educating and mentoring members of multidisciplinary teams. She also consults with and shares the wisdom of her brilliant husband, Dr. Louis Calderon, a child psychiatrist.

In addition to her professional accomplishments and accolades, Dr. Baxter enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking Thai food, reading science fiction and her greatest joy is being with her incredibly tolerant husband and three children.

Susan Clancey, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist

Whether working to make a difference in the lives of her own two children, or those in the hospital, you will find Susan Clancey working tirelessly to provide holistic therapies to meet the needs of children.

As a youth and still today, Mrs. Clancey feels it is her life’s mission and an honor to work to positively impact the lives of children. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development at the University of Arizona, Mrs. Clancey volunteered at the University of Arizona Medical Center where she discovered her passion to work with ill children and their families.

After taking time off from her career to raise her two children, Mrs. Clancey completed a Masters Degree at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and went on to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).

Mrs. Clancey combines her passion for children, music and complementary therapies at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center where she currently works as a CCLS in Pediatric Surgical Services and Sedation and coordinates complementary therapies. She is recognized nationally for her unique knowledge base and experience in the areas of holistic healthcare for children.

A talented violinist, Mrs. Clancey, strongly believes in the healing power of music and enjoys playing for pediatric patients and their families. She also incorporates guided imagery and therapies such as Reiki to patients as needed. Mrs. Clancey is a member of the UMass Complementary and Alternative Medicine Academic Interest Group and is collaborating with a leading pediatrician on a pilot research project studying the feasibility of Reiki on pain and stress in hospitalized children.

Mrs. Clancey embraces a balanced life including yoga, running, music, art and travel and shares Standish Foundation’s goal to make a difference in the lives of children, families and healthcare providers worldwide.

Khatuna Dolidze, PhD, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Psychologist, Certified Child Life Specialist, Cofounder, Executive Director, GACCH Foundation for Hospitalized Children, Republic of Georgia

 

Driving home from the clinic at the end of each day to rejoin her daughter, son and husband, Khatuna Dolidze thinks of the words of Astrid Lindgren, “If I have brightened up even one gloomy childhood- then I am satisfied”.

Mrs. Dolidze grew up in a big family in Georgia, an ancient Christian country rich with folklore, music, theatre, art and wine traditions. A highly independent infant, her family recalls her tirelessly running around the handmade baby walker invented by her grandfather. As a pioneer in the psychosocial care of hospitalized children in Georgia, some might say, “she hasn’t stopped running!”

After graduating as a psychologist from Tbilisi State University, Mrs. Dolidze created the Baltic region’s first art therapy project designed to assess and support hospitalized children.

Based on her experience and passion for working with children in medical settings, the president of JoAnn Medical Center JAMC hired Mrs. Dolidze to provide stress minimizing interventions for their pediatric patients and their families. Mrs. Dolidze began building a pediatric psychosocial support program, previously unknown to Georgian health care. She discovered and became an expert on child life practices; creating a comprehensive support program blending psychology, child life and art therapy modalities. Mrs. Dolidze completed her internship at Cook Children’s Hospital in the USA and is a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Mrs. Dolidze has established an NGO to train psychologists and introduce services in more hospitals in Georgia including her pilot project at the Onco-hematology department at M. Iashvili Children’s Central Hospital in Tbilisi. She also established a practicum training program between JAMC and Ilia State University where students eagerly joined her child life advocacy efforts.

The belief that she has both much to share and much to learn motivates Mrs. Dolidze to commit time to Standish Foundation. And so, she keeps on running…

“Marifer” María Fernanda Busqueta Mendoza, MA

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist
Clinical and Health Psychologist
Adjunct and associate professor of Universidad Anahuac and Universidad La Salle
Diploma in Pediatric Psychooncology
Researcher in collaboration with Universidad Anahuac Center of Psychology Research
Head of the Pediatric Psychology and Child Life Department

María Fernanda Busqueta (“Marifer”) grew up in Mexico City. As a child, she always played and dreamed about helping others, particularly in health-related situations. Her passion for caring for others in combination with her interest in medicine led her to pursue an education focused on healthcare and psychology.

After receiving a bachelor´s degree in psychology at Universidad Anáhuac México-Norte in Mexico City in 2006, Miss Busqueta earned a master´s degree in clinical psychology and psychotherapy and completed a postgraduate course in brief psychotherapy in 2008.

Miss Busqueta began work as a pediatric psychologist establishing the first ever psychosocial support program at the pediatric unit of Hospital Español in Mexico City. The program was so successful that Miss Busqueta expanded services to create a formal psychology department.

In addition to her hospital based work, Miss Busqueta uses her skills as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist to work with children and adults in her private practice. As a pioneer in the field, Miss Busqueta is also a student supervisor at her hospital, a local lecturer and a college professor at Universidad Anáhuac.

Upon learning of the Child Life profession, Miss Busqueta immediately began seeking a higher level of knowledge by studying its’ modalities and attending conferences in the U.S. In order to have a formal introduction to the profession, she completed a child life internship at Texas Children´s Hospital in Houston and upon completion of that internship become a Child Life Specialist.

Her hard work paid off and Miss Busqueta is now delighted to be able to provide additional support to her patients by blending psychology and child life practices into her professional practice. She enjoys working as a pediatric psychologist because it puts her in close contact with the needs of hospitalized children and their families. Her passion and love for her profession is her everyday satisfaction.

 

Dina Nasser, BSN, MPH

ADVISOR

 Registered Nurse, Manager and Health Advisor
Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR)
Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH)
East Jerusalem, Palestine

Advocate. Humanitarian. Activist. Mother. Wife. Daughter. These are just a few of the roles that Dina Nasser embraces. Mrs. Nasser has spent her career advocating for children’s health and protection including physical and psychological abuse. She is passionate about educating healthcare practitioners so that healthcare is provided holistically and in a way that minimizes pain and trauma.

In her role at Juzoor, Mrs. Nasser works to improve access and knowledge of health and wellness for the local population. She also coordinated for the Child Health Diploma at Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR). The diploma has now been developed into a full master’s program and is offered in cooperation with the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom. Having studied in the UK, this was a natural collaboration and partnership for Mrs. Nasser to build. The strength of this diploma is its holistic approach to pediatric healthcare, particularly the psychosocial aspects of care.

At Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, Mrs. Nasser reports directly to the CEO advising, developing and implementing systems related to patient care and operations. Her areas of emphasis are infection control, quality control and psychosocial care.

Mrs. Nasser assisted the hospital staff with the exhaustive process to apply for and receive Joint Commission Accreditation; one of the few hospitals in the region to do so. Mrs. Nasser is currently working with the staff to implement child and family centered care initiatives in the pediatric oncology and pediatric day care dialysis wards. Augusta Victoria Hospital is the only center in the region providing comprehensive care for hematology, oncology, and dialysis for pediatric patients.

Mrs. Nasser honors her parents by embracing the family tradition to be a human rights activist. Consequently, her entire life’s work focuses on challenging the system that deprives the vulnerable families of their basic human rights. She is intent to share the narrative of those who are not free to do so. She advocates for rights and resources for the underserved and neglected families in her community and region.

 

Kasey Reinhardt, CCLS

AMBASSADOR

Certified Child Life Specialist, Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist

Kasey grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina USA and graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with degrees in both Psychology and Child and Family Development. She has worked with children with autism as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist and in a variety of education settings.

Kasey became certified as a child life specialist in her final year of college and began her professional career at Novant Health Medical Center. She enjoyed working with patients, family and staff in the pediatric emergency department and the neonatal intensive care unit. In an effort to support her community, Kasey devoted countless hours to become proficient in emergency response. She also worked closely with the fundraising arm of the hospital to create family friendly spaces and develop supportive patient- and family-centered care programs. It was through her experiences here that she truly developed and nurtured her passion for helping and supporting children and their families throughout their medical journeys.

Kasey also volunteers as a child life specialist working with children and families on international medical missions. While volunteering, you’ll find Kasey writing blogs about her travels and her work with children and families. She loves to travel and once even put her things in storage to live in a Volkswagen Vanagon and travel the US for two months. She arrived home rejuvenated along with a stray dog. She is a lover of cats, has dabbled in commercial acting and recently took up improv. She loves the Carolina Panthers, is an airbnb “superhost” and currently resides in sunny Long Beach, California. Kasey spends her free time exploring California and at the beach with her dog “Cranberry.”

Dr. Paul Thayer M.A., M. Div., D. Min.

ADVISOR

Clinical Associate Professor, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University

Dr. Paul Thayer has inspired students and collaborated with colleagues at Wheelock College since 2000, where he is an Associate Professor of Education and Child Life. In addition to teaching child life and bereavement courses, Dr. Thayer’s research interests include pediatric hospice, therapeutic boundaries in professional care, spirituality and illness and bereavement care for children.

Once graduating from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in psychology, Dr. Thayer received a MA in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College in 1979. Further study earned Dr. Thayer a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, during which he completed his child life internship at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Prior to teaching, Dr. Thayer practiced as a child life specialist, mental health counselor and inpatient hospice director. While teaching at Wheelock College Dr. Thayer earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Boston University in 2007. His wife was also in grad school at the time so many nights were spent at the kitchen table after putting the kids to bed. All worth it!

An active family life remains central to Dr. Thayer. His wife, Donna, is a first grade teacher. Twenty four year old Jenny works as a loan officer and lives at home with her two year old daughter Sofia. Daughter Carly, 13, and son Sam, 11, also live at home as well as their beloved dog Ozzie.

Dr. Thayer is known and highly respected for his contributions to the study of cross cultural grief and bereavement practices, helping children and families worldwide. Annual trips to Singapore link students and professionals there to child life practices. He has also been a Jasper Whiting Fellow, studying grief in Singapore and in the United Kingdom. Dr. Thayer brings extensive knowledge and experience to Standish Foundation.

 

Deborah “Deb” Vilas, MS, CCLS, LMSW

ADVISOR 

Licensed Social Worker, Early Childhood Special Educator, Certified Child Life Specialist
Faculty Instructor & Advisor, Bank Street College of Education
USA, Mexico, Japan, Czech Republic

Ms. Vilas grew up in rural Massachusetts, an environment rich with play opportunities in nature, at home and in school. She believes that these opportunities incubated and influenced a sense of joy, flexibility and creativity that continue to inspire her work and her life.

Ms. Vilas majored in Sociology at Georgetown University, and worked for several years as a paralegal in Manhattan, New York. Her experience as a volunteer coordinator at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, along with her natural curiosity and desire to help children led her to Bank Street College of Education. She obtained a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Child Life.

After working in the child life profession and teaching at a therapeutic nursery, curiosity called again and Ms. Vilas returned to graduate school to explore social work and psychotherapy at New York University (NYU). For the past ten years, she has taught and advised at the Bank Street College of Education, teaching courses in Child Development, Developmental Variations, Play Techniques, and Child Abuse Detection & Reporting. She is one of the founding advisors in the Child Life Masters Program, adores teaching and learning, and believes that, “in the end, only kindness matters” (Jewel).

Ms. Vilas is widely known and respected for her wisdom and kindness, spending countless hours volunteering as a professional mentor and clinical supervisor for colleagues around the world.

Ms. Vilas loves to express her creativity through writing, kayaking, and playing! And her colleagues are thrilled that she continues to love mentoring and teaching; supporting and challenging them along the way.

Carrie Welch, CPCU, CLU

BOARD MEMBER

Growing up as an only child in the Midwest part of the U.S. shaped Ms. Welch’s strong sense of family and responsibility and made her the person she is today. Born in corn country, Ms. Welch left her secure roots in the State of Illinois to attend college at Virginia Tech. Ms. Welch studied Family and Child Development as well as Psychology where she pursued her fascination with what motivates and drives people.

After graduating, Ms. Welch followed in her father’s footsteps and began her extensive career with State Farm Insurance. Her first assignment had Ms. Welch traveling through the U.S. working with families who suffered catastrophic losses. Helping people at the height of distress was extremely rewarding and meaningful for Ms. Welch.

Ms. Welch’s career with State Farm Insurance took her to the state of Indiana and now to Austin, Texas, where she opened a State Farm agency in the March of 2008. Ms. Welch has earned professional designations including the CPCU and the LTCP.

Ms. Welch has cherished all the rewards and challenges of being a business owner. The blessings she has gained from this experience are the relationships she has built with clients, peers and members of her community.

Currently serving on two boards, Ms. Welch is the Board Treasurer for the Standish Foundation, and is the Board Secretary for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Austin Texas Chapter. As one of the founding Directors of Standish Foundation, Ms. Welch has been instrumental in establishing the Foundation’s operations and programs, particularly the extensive governance and ethics practices.

Animals are a great passion and Ms. Welch falls in love with any creature that comes her way. Although Welch’s immediate family is still living in the state of Illinois, she feels fortunate to have a wonderful pseudo-family in Austin, including her incredible partner Mark, his two wonderful children and all of her close friends.

Throughout her professional and personal life, Ms. Welch has been guided by a strong work ethic, integrity, devotion to friends and family and service to her community.

Brooke Batchelor, Pediatric Registered Nurse, Educator

ADVISOR

Australia

ThePaediatricNurse.com

Brooke Batchelor has an extensive paediatric nursing background spanning 13 years and has worked all over Australia and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

In 2015, Brooke began blogging about her concerns with the restraint of children during painful procedures. Her blog garnered a lot of attention, and since then, she has developed an online CPD/CE platform specifically for paediatric nurses- The Paediatric Nurse.

Her passion lies with giving children and their families a voice in healthcare. She hopes to one day use her influence to set up purpose programs that empower children & their families and to provide scholarships to nurses seeking post-graduate qualifications in play therapy.

She holds postgraduate qualifications in primary teaching and has slowly started to work towards her Masters in Child Play Therapy.

Brooke continues to work at her local hospital to ensure her nursing skills remain current.

In her spare time, Brooke enjoys learning & teaching about using complementary therapies alongside conventional medicine to manage health holistically.

You will find her checking out the local markets at the weekend, spending time with her family at the local beach or fishing the local waterways.

 

Kyle Kothe

ADVISOR 

Parent, RightGift Co-Founder

RightGift.com

Kyle has developed his career focused on leveraging product strategy, user-centric design and software engineering to create exceptional customer experiences. He has an extensive background in user experience, design, engineering, and product development, and has built and run cross-functional teams across all disciplines. He has led the creative design process and technical architecture at successful startups in the affiliate marketing, supply chain, and artificial intelligence spaces.

 

Caroline Hargrave Armington, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Standish Foundation, Liaison to the Board of Directors, USA, South Africa

Child Life Specialist, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Global Programs Officer
After studying at the University of Mary Washington, Caroline Armington’s enthusiasm for serving children and families led her to Wheelock College where she received her masters degree in Child Life and Family Centered Care.

To expand her global perspective, Mrs. Armington studied abroad in Australia, interned in London, worked in South

Africa and volunteered in Rwanda. Along the way, her determination to assist families coping with medical treatments has earned the admiration of her colleagues, professors and family. Her interest in how people live, cope and play all over the world continues to drive her passion for international work.

Mrs. Armington helped pilot child life services in Cape Town, South Africa establishing comprehensive psychosocial support for children and families at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. She also joined an international team of healthcare providers on their inaugural Operation Smile South Africa mission to Rwanda.

Mrs. Armington worked at Newton Wellesley Hospital in the Emergency Department and at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Currently, Mrs. Armington is a child life specialist on the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

The drive to collaborate with determined and compassionate practitioners worldwide who seek to improve the healthcare of children has served as the basis for Mrs. Armington’s commitment to Standish Foundation where she serves as the Liaison to the Board of Directors.

Arash Babaoff, MD, Ctrop

ADVISOR

Staff Attending Pediatrician, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Medical Director, Yanez Barragan Ecuador Project Pediatric Board and Quality Assurance Task Force, Operation Smile International USA, Ecuador, Global

Born to loving Iranian table tennis Olympians of different faiths in Lausanne, Switzerland, Dr. Babaoff was blessed with frenetic energy and a strong sense of adventure and independence. A profound love for all people, especially the most vulnerable, coupled with his lifelong passion for meeting people of many cultures and languages continue to inspire him.

The Babaoff family’s move to the USA and the birth of his sister, Atosa were pivotal events in his young life. Love, compassion, tolerance and diversity were abundant in his life and key in his pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in history and psychology. His special connection to children and adolescents was evident by his closeness with his sister, devotion as a summer camp counselor and guidance as a high school history teacher upon college graduation.

Interested to help and acutely aware of the suffering around him, Dr. Babaoff’s decision to apply for medical school was inspired by a college classmate’s cancer diagnosis. He not only enjoyed gaining the knowledge to heal patients, he took time getting to know his patients, was nourished by the intimacy of the interactions, and learned to become a patient and compassionate physician.

Dr. Babaoff chose to pursue his residency and his career at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he has worked in the Adolescent Medicine Division, Transport team and the Emergency Department for seventeen years.

Believing that medicine is an international language that should be practiced as such, Dr. Babaoff began his volunteer work abroad in 2001. Combining his lessons from childhood, his medical knowledge and his respect and devotion to people of diversity he has made volunteering a way of life. In addition to the many medical missions, Dr. Babaoff is the co-founder of an NPO providing healthcare to the people in the Bolivar Province in Central Ecuador.

Joining Standish Foundation furthers his belief that once again, healthcare is an international language finding its voice.

Amy L. Baxter, M.D., FAAP, FACEP

ADVISOR

C.E.O., Founder, MMJ Labs LLC, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, USA, Global

A wife, mother, physician, educator, mentor, CEO and inventor, Dr. Amy Baxter thoughtfully balances her many diverse roles. Dr. Baxter graduated from Yale University and Emory Medical School and completed a Pediatrics Residency, Child Abuse Fellowship and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship.

As a pain management researcher, advocate and pediatric emergency medicine physician, Dr. Baxter invented Buzzy® and Bee-Stractors DistrACTION™ cards when the oldest of her three children met a “needle wielding fiend.” Buzzy grew from a desire to put inexpensive reusable pain control in the hands of parents and patients and has become a valuable addition to pain management in pediatric care. Among other recognition for her pioneering efforts, Dr. Baxter has received the Huggies “MomInspired” award and the 2011 Medical Design Excellence award for the patented Buzzy® and Bee-Stractors DistrACTION™ cards.

When she is not thinking of new ways to use Buzzy®, she is director of Emergency Research for Pediatric Emergency Medicine Associates at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Scottish Rite, and a Clinical Associate Professor at Medical College of Georgia. As a founding board member of the Society for Pediatric Sedation, Dr. Baxter lectures nationally and publishes on pain and procedural sedation. Dr. Baxter is on the Pediatrics Board for Medscape; she is currently NIH funded to research immunization needle pain relief in children.

Dr. Baxter is also recognized for her devotion to educating and mentoring members of multidisciplinary teams. She also consults with and shares the wisdom of her brilliant husband, Dr. Louis Calderon, a child psychiatrist.

In addition to her professional accomplishments and accolades, Dr. Baxter enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking Thai food, reading science fiction and her greatest joy is being with her incredibly tolerant husband and three children.

Susan Clancey, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist

Whether working to make a difference in the lives of her own two children, or those in the hospital, you will find Susan Clancey working tirelessly to provide holistic therapies to meet the needs of children.

As a youth and still today, Mrs. Clancey feels it is her life’s mission and an honor to work to positively impact the lives of children. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development at the University of Arizona, Mrs. Clancey volunteered at the University of Arizona Medical Center where she discovered her passion to work with ill children and their families.

After taking time off from her career to raise her two children, Mrs. Clancey completed a Masters Degree at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and went on to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).

Mrs. Clancey combines her passion for children, music and complementary therapies at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center where she currently works as a CCLS in Pediatric Surgical Services and Sedation and coordinates complementary therapies. She is recognized nationally for her unique knowledge base and experience in the areas of holistic healthcare for children.

A talented violinist, Mrs. Clancey, strongly believes in the healing power of music and enjoys playing for pediatric patients and their families. She also incorporates guided imagery and therapies such as Reiki to patients as needed. Mrs. Clancey is a member of the UMass Complementary and Alternative Medicine Academic Interest Group and is collaborating with a leading pediatrician on a pilot research project studying the feasibility of Reiki on pain and stress in hospitalized children.

Mrs. Clancey embraces a balanced life including yoga, running, music, art and travel and shares Standish Foundation’s goal to make a difference in the lives of children, families and healthcare providers worldwide.

Khatuna Dolidze, PhD, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Psychologist, Certified Child Life Specialist, Cofounder, Executive Director, GACCH Foundation for Hospitalized Children, Republic of Georgia

 

Driving home from the clinic at the end of each day to rejoin her daughter, son and husband, Khatuna Dolidze thinks of the words of Astrid Lindgren, “If I have brightened up even one gloomy childhood- then I am satisfied”.

Mrs. Dolidze grew up in a big family in Georgia, an ancient Christian country rich with folklore, music, theatre, art and wine traditions. A highly independent infant, her family recalls her tirelessly running around the handmade baby walker invented by her grandfather. As a pioneer in the psychosocial care of hospitalized children in Georgia, some might say, “she hasn’t stopped running!”

After graduating as a psychologist from Tbilisi State University, Mrs. Dolidze created the Baltic region’s first art therapy project designed to assess and support hospitalized children.

Based on her experience and passion for working with children in medical settings, the president of JoAnn Medical Center JAMC hired Mrs. Dolidze to provide stress minimizing interventions for their pediatric patients and their families. Mrs. Dolidze began building a pediatric psychosocial support program, previously unknown to Georgian health care. She discovered and became an expert on child life practices; creating a comprehensive support program blending psychology, child life and art therapy modalities. Mrs. Dolidze completed her internship at Cook Children’s Hospital in the USA and is a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Mrs. Dolidze has established an NGO to train psychologists and introduce services in more hospitals in Georgia including her pilot project at the Onco-hematology department at M. Iashvili Children’s Central Hospital in Tbilisi. She also established a practicum training program between JAMC and Ilia State University where students eagerly joined her child life advocacy efforts.

The belief that she has both much to share and much to learn motivates Mrs. Dolidze to commit time to Standish Foundation. And so, she keeps on running…

“Marifer” María Fernanda Busqueta Mendoza, MA

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist
Clinical and Health Psychologist
Adjunct and associate professor of Universidad Anahuac and Universidad La Salle
Diploma in Pediatric Psychooncology
Researcher in collaboration with Universidad Anahuac Center of Psychology Research
Head of the Pediatric Psychology and Child Life Department

María Fernanda Busqueta (“Marifer”) grew up in Mexico City. As a child, she always played and dreamed about helping others, particularly in health-related situations. Her passion for caring for others in combination with her interest in medicine led her to pursue an education focused on healthcare and psychology.

After receiving a bachelor´s degree in psychology at Universidad Anáhuac México-Norte in Mexico City in 2006, Miss Busqueta earned a master´s degree in clinical psychology and psychotherapy and completed a postgraduate course in brief psychotherapy in 2008.

Miss Busqueta began work as a pediatric psychologist establishing the first ever psychosocial support program at the pediatric unit of Hospital Español in Mexico City. The program was so successful that Miss Busqueta expanded services to create a formal psychology department.

In addition to her hospital based work, Miss Busqueta uses her skills as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist to work with children and adults in her private practice. As a pioneer in the field, Miss Busqueta is also a student supervisor at her hospital, a local lecturer and a college professor at Universidad Anáhuac.

Upon learning of the Child Life profession, Miss Busqueta immediately began seeking a higher level of knowledge by studying its’ modalities and attending conferences in the U.S. In order to have a formal introduction to the profession, she completed a child life internship at Texas Children´s Hospital in Houston and upon completion of that internship become a Child Life Specialist.

Her hard work paid off and Miss Busqueta is now delighted to be able to provide additional support to her patients by blending psychology and child life practices into her professional practice. She enjoys working as a pediatric psychologist because it puts her in close contact with the needs of hospitalized children and their families. Her passion and love for her profession is her everyday satisfaction.

 

Dina Nasser, BSN, MPH

ADVISOR

 Registered Nurse, Manager and Health Advisor
Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR)
Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH)
East Jerusalem, Palestine

Advocate. Humanitarian. Activist. Mother. Wife. Daughter. These are just a few of the roles that Dina Nasser embraces. Mrs. Nasser has spent her career advocating for children’s health and protection including physical and psychological abuse. She is passionate about educating healthcare practitioners so that healthcare is provided holistically and in a way that minimizes pain and trauma.

In her role at Juzoor, Mrs. Nasser works to improve access and knowledge of health and wellness for the local population. She also coordinated for the Child Health Diploma at Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR). The diploma has now been developed into a full master’s program and is offered in cooperation with the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom. Having studied in the UK, this was a natural collaboration and partnership for Mrs. Nasser to build. The strength of this diploma is its holistic approach to pediatric healthcare, particularly the psychosocial aspects of care.

At Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, Mrs. Nasser reports directly to the CEO advising, developing and implementing systems related to patient care and operations. Her areas of emphasis are infection control, quality control and psychosocial care.

Mrs. Nasser assisted the hospital staff with the exhaustive process to apply for and receive Joint Commission Accreditation; one of the few hospitals in the region to do so. Mrs. Nasser is currently working with the staff to implement child and family centered care initiatives in the pediatric oncology and pediatric day care dialysis wards. Augusta Victoria Hospital is the only center in the region providing comprehensive care for hematology, oncology, and dialysis for pediatric patients.

Mrs. Nasser honors her parents by embracing the family tradition to be a human rights activist. Consequently, her entire life’s work focuses on challenging the system that deprives the vulnerable families of their basic human rights. She is intent to share the narrative of those who are not free to do so. She advocates for rights and resources for the underserved and neglected families in her community and region.

 

Kasey Reinhardt, CCLS

AMBASSADOR

Certified Child Life Specialist, Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist

Kasey grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina USA and graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with degrees in both Psychology and Child and Family Development. She has worked with children with autism as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapist and in a variety of education settings.

Kasey became certified as a child life specialist in her final year of college and began her professional career at Novant Health Medical Center. She enjoyed working with patients, family and staff in the pediatric emergency department and the neonatal intensive care unit. In an effort to support her community, Kasey devoted countless hours to become proficient in emergency response. She also worked closely with the fundraising arm of the hospital to create family friendly spaces and develop supportive patient- and family-centered care programs. It was through her experiences here that she truly developed and nurtured her passion for helping and supporting children and their families throughout their medical journeys.

Kasey also volunteers as a child life specialist working with children and families on international medical missions. While volunteering, you’ll find Kasey writing blogs about her travels and her work with children and families. She loves to travel and once even put her things in storage to live in a Volkswagen Vanagon and travel the US for two months. She arrived home rejuvenated along with a stray dog. She is a lover of cats, has dabbled in commercial acting and recently took up improv. She loves the Carolina Panthers, is an airbnb “superhost” and currently resides in sunny Long Beach, California. Kasey spends her free time exploring California and at the beach with her dog “Cranberry.”

Khatuna Dolidze, PhD, MS, CCLS

ADVISOR

Psychologist, Certified Child Life Specialist, Cofounder, Executive Director, GACCH Foundation for Hospitalized Children, Republic of Georgia

 

Driving home from the clinic at the end of each day to rejoin her daughter, son and husband, Khatuna Dolidze thinks of the words of Astrid Lindgren, “If I have brightened up even one gloomy childhood- then I am satisfied”.

Mrs. Dolidze grew up in a big family in Georgia, an ancient Christian country rich with folklore, music, theatre, art and wine traditions. A highly independent infant, her family recalls her tirelessly running around the handmade baby walker invented by her grandfather. As a pioneer in the psychosocial care of hospitalized children in Georgia, some might say, “she hasn’t stopped running!”

After graduating as a psychologist from Tbilisi State University, Mrs. Dolidze created the Baltic region’s first art therapy project designed to assess and support hospitalized children.

Based on her experience and passion for working with children in medical settings, the president of JoAnn Medical Center JAMC hired Mrs. Dolidze to provide stress minimizing interventions for their pediatric patients and their families. Mrs. Dolidze began building a pediatric psychosocial support program, previously unknown to Georgian health care. She discovered and became an expert on child life practices; creating a comprehensive support program blending psychology, child life and art therapy modalities. Mrs. Dolidze completed her internship at Cook Children’s Hospital in the USA and is a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Mrs. Dolidze has established an NGO to train psychologists and introduce services in more hospitals in Georgia including her pilot project at the Onco-hematology department at M. Iashvili Children’s Central Hospital in Tbilisi. She also established a practicum training program between JAMC and Ilia State University where students eagerly joined her child life advocacy efforts.

The belief that she has both much to share and much to learn motivates Mrs. Dolidze to commit time to Standish Foundation. And so, she keeps on running…

Natalie Fyles, CCLS

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Outreach Manager, In-Kind Donations, Standish Foundation
USA

Ms. Fyles developed a passion for working with children in the healthcare setting at a young age. Ms. Fyles attended Colorado State University and received her degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Life. Ms. Fyles completed her clinical internship, certification, and later was hired in Long Beach, California. This is where Ms. Fyles developed her interests in travel and learning about various cultural beliefs and practices as they related to healthcare.

Early in her career as a child life specialist, Ms. Fyles pioneered several new psychosocial support programs. This includes programs in a pediatric intensive care unit, an emergency department, and a small community hospital. Ms. Fyles returned to her home state to work at Children’s Hospital of Colorado. She has continued to deepen her expertise in child and family friendly healthcare and grief and loss support programs. She developed programs in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit supporting patients and siblings. In her current role in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Ms. Fyles delivers clinical interventions supporting patients and families through extended treatments as well as grief and loss. Additionally, Ms. Fyles shares her knowledge and experiences through training and mentoring child life practicum students and interns.

Mrs. Fyles’ passion to help children heal in a psychosocially and developmentally supportive environment drives her desire to support global missions that do the same. Standish Foundation for Child and Family Centered Healthcare is a natural fit for her commitment to this mission.

Ms. Fyles enjoys many hobbies including cooking, travel, and enjoying the outdoors.

Thomas McNeely Hobson, MHA, MMEd, MT-BC, CCLS Music Therapist

ADVISOR

Board Certified, Certified Child Life Specialist, Director of Child Life Services, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Chief Outcomes Officer, Standish Foundation
Interim Child Life Consultant, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar USA, Qatar

The words of Audrey Hepburn, “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”, have driven Thomas McNeely Hobson throughout his education and career. This drive, coupled with his determination and ingenuity lead him to create opportunities where others see obstacles.

Mr. Hobson and his brother were raised by their parents in locations all over the southeastern United States. Since childhood, Mr. Hobson exhibited a desire to help those in need. At age four, Mr. Hobson offered to console his brother by singing to him, and thus began his quest to connect with and bring comfort to people through music.

After studying music in South Carolina at Presbyterian College, Mr. Hobson sought to expand his knowledge and skill by studying music therapy. During his studies at East Carolina University, Mr. Hobson completed a music therapy internship at Florida State Hospital, a large state mental hospital. However, it was his work at Pitt Memorial Hospital, on a pediatric unit, which ultimately drew him to working with hospitalized children.

In pursuit of this mission, Mr. Hobson began working at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee since 2002 where he became the first Director of Child Life Services. With a desire to deepen his leadership knowledge, Mr. Hobson went on to earn a master’s degree in healthcare administration.

During his career, Mr. Hobson has held a number of positions at the Child Life Council and the American Music Therapy Association. Additionally, he works at Sidra Medical and Research Center in Doha, Qatar. Mr. Hobson serves as the Interim Child Life Consultant and has enjoyed assisting the hospital to develop its first child life program.

Creative, intuitive and humorous, Mr. Hobson’s blog about his work with hospitalized children here and aboard is an inspiration to his colleagues as well as to his patients and their families. Mr. Hobson looks forward to working with Standish Foundation, and is most excited about knowing that children and families will benefit from this global collaboration.

Frank Leigh Lu, MD

ADVISOR

Pediatrician

Medical Director, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital
Clinical lecturer, Division of Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, National Taiwan University Medical College
CEO, Raising Children Medical Foundation
Taiwan

Born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, USA, Frank returned to Taiwan at age nine with his parents. After receiving his medical degree from National Taiwan University Medical College, Dr. Lu became a pediatrician at National Taiwan University Hospital, one of Taiwan’s most prominent medical centers.

Dr. Lu is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. He is a clinical lecturer at the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, National Taiwan University Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan.

Dr. Lu’s expertise in pediatrics includes critical care, pulmonology, resuscitation, ethics and palliative care. Additional interests include: patient safety, quality improvement, team communication and training, and child and family friendly healthcare practices.

With ten years of pediatric critical care experience, Dr. Lu understands the impact of the medical environment on children and their families. As a visiting scholar at Children’s Hospital Boston, Dr. Lu was introduced to the profession of child life. Impressed and touched by the efforts to provide psychosocial care to children and their families, Dr. Lu returned to Taiwan with a framework for helping make healthcare more child and family friendly. Through his involvement in the design of the National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital’s new building, Dr. Lu began doing just that, creating a guide for other hospitals in Taiwan.

Dr. Lu’s work to establish child and family friendly healthcare practices is in addition to his full-time patient case load, management of a pediatric intensive care unit, international speaking commitments and board presidency of Raising Children Medical Foundation! As a history “buff,” Dr. Lu studies the history of man, culture, religion and medicine.

Dr. Lu is proud to have known and cared for Zeng Qing. Her story as told by Qing’s father was made into a very moving book called, “Fragile Yet Strong–The 8 Lessons that Qing Qing Taught Me.”

By joining Standish Foundation, Dr. Lu is eager to share his experience globally. “Dare to make dreams, too enthusiastic,” says Dr. Lu who is working tirelessly to see happier futures for the children in Taiwan. Although there is still much progress to be made, he feels he can see the sun rising!

 

Cinda McDonald, MEd, RDH, CCLS

ADVISOR

Registered Dental Hygienist, Certified Child Life Specialist
Bereavement Support Specialist, Supportive and Palliative Care Team
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Dentistry
USA

Cinda McDonald blends her love of children with her interests in healthcare, dentistry and end of life care. Through her passion and hard work, Mrs. McDonald has pioneered pediatric support programs which have served as models for programs around the world.

Following her dream to enter dentistry like her father, Mrs. McDonald worked for over six years until an unexpected hand injury ended her dental career. Mrs. McDonald returned to school gain wisdom and experience to prepare her to work with children. Her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education is from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mrs. McDonald became a Certified Child Life Specialist. She is recognized nationally as a pioneer who successfully blended child life techniques in the hospital’s dental clinic where she implemented a successful pediatric dental health program.

Mrs. McDonald’s pioneering work continued as she is the first child life specialist in Texas to develop a pediatric hospice care program. She worked extensively with terminally ill children and their families, providing support for end of life care.

Mrs. McDonald started a one-person child life program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Mrs. McDonald is a co-investigator for two research studies and adjunct professor at Baylor College of Dentistry.

As a dedicated volunteer, Mrs. McDonald provides bereavement support for terminally ill children and their families at bereavement camps and on family trips to Disney World. She brings a wealth of experience and a huge heart to Standish Foundation.

When she is not working or volunteering, Mrs. McDonald enjoys her time with her husband Steve, the love of her life, and their four furry cats.

“Marifer” María Fernanda Busqueta Mendoza, MA

ADVISOR

Certified Child Life Specialist
Clinical and Health Psychologist
Adjunct and associate professor of Universidad Anahuac and Universidad La Salle
Diploma in Pediatric Psychooncology
Researcher in collaboration with Universidad Anahuac Center of Psychology Research
Head of the Pediatric Psychology and Child Life Department

María Fernanda Busqueta (“Marifer”) grew up in Mexico City. As a child, she always played and dreamed about helping others, particularly in health-related situations. Her passion for caring for others in combination with her interest in medicine led her to pursue an education focused on healthcare and psychology.

After receiving a bachelor´s degree in psychology at Universidad Anáhuac México-Norte in Mexico City in 2006, Miss Busqueta earned a master´s degree in clinical psychology and psychotherapy and completed a postgraduate course in brief psychotherapy in 2008.

Miss Busqueta began work as a pediatric psychologist establishing the first ever psychosocial support program at the pediatric unit of Hospital Español in Mexico City. The program was so successful that Miss Busqueta expanded services to create a formal psychology department.

In addition to her hospital based work, Miss Busqueta uses her skills as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist to work with children and adults in her private practice. As a pioneer in the field, Miss Busqueta is also a student supervisor at her hospital, a local lecturer and a college professor at Universidad Anáhuac.

Upon learning of the Child Life profession, Miss Busqueta immediately began seeking a higher level of knowledge by studying its’ modalities and attending conferences in the U.S. In order to have a formal introduction to the profession, she completed a child life internship at Texas Children´s Hospital in Houston and upon completion of that internship become a Child Life Specialist.

Her hard work paid off and Miss Busqueta is now delighted to be able to provide additional support to her patients by blending psychology and child life practices into her professional practice. She enjoys working as a pediatric psychologist because it puts her in close contact with the needs of hospitalized children and their families. Her passion and love for her profession is her everyday satisfaction.

 

Dina Nasser, BSN, MPH

ADVISOR

 Registered Nurse, Manager and Health Advisor
Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR)
Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH)
East Jerusalem, Palestine

Advocate. Humanitarian. Activist. Mother. Wife. Daughter. These are just a few of the roles that Dina Nasser embraces. Mrs. Nasser has spent her career advocating for children’s health and protection including physical and psychological abuse. She is passionate about educating healthcare practitioners so that healthcare is provided holistically and in a way that minimizes pain and trauma.

In her role at Juzoor, Mrs. Nasser works to improve access and knowledge of health and wellness for the local population. She also coordinated for the Child Health Diploma at Juzoor for Health and Social Development (JUZOOR). The diploma has now been developed into a full master’s program and is offered in cooperation with the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom. Having studied in the UK, this was a natural collaboration and partnership for Mrs. Nasser to build. The strength of this diploma is its holistic approach to pediatric healthcare, particularly the psychosocial aspects of care.

At Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, Mrs. Nasser reports directly to the CEO advising, developing and implementing systems related to patient care and operations. Her areas of emphasis are infection control, quality control and psychosocial care.

Mrs. Nasser assisted the hospital staff with the exhaustive process to apply for and receive Joint Commission Accreditation; one of the few hospitals in the region to do so. Mrs. Nasser is currently working with the staff to implement child and family centered care initiatives in the pediatric oncology and pediatric day care dialysis wards. Augusta Victoria Hospital is the only center in the region providing comprehensive care for hematology, oncology, and dialysis for pediatric patients.

Mrs. Nasser honors her parents by embracing the family tradition to be a human rights activist. Consequently, her entire life’s work focuses on challenging the system that deprives the vulnerable families of their basic human rights. She is intent to share the narrative of those who are not free to do so. She advocates for rights and resources for the underserved and neglected families in her community and region.

 

“Andy” Andrea Mangione Standish, CCLS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Standish Foundation Founder, President

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“Andy” Andrea Mangione Standish, CCLS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Standish Foundation Founder, President

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“Andy” Andrea Mangione Standish, CCLS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Standish Foundation Founder, President

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