Board of Directors

Eileen Clark

President - Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS

Eileen Clark has been a member of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) since 1989. She served as a board member for ACLP, term: 2013-2015. Eileen recently began consultation for the Child Life Council Program Review service and was a committee member of the Corporate Advisory Council Task Force, Chair of the Leadership Development Committee and is currently a member of the Governance Committee Policy Work Group 2015/2016. Eileen is the Family Services Manager at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with oversight for the following programs: Child Life and Expressive Therapies, Spiritual Care, Bereavement and Volunteer Services.

Eileen worked as a child life specialist in oncology for 15 years prior to her leadership position. During her tenure as a CCLS she was instrumental in implementing special programming for grief and bereavement as well as young adult and sibling support groups that are still operational today. Eileen’s passion for staff support was ignited through leading a Six Sigma Project incorporating a healthy and emotionally supportive work environment for staff caring for a child at end-of-life. Eileen also participated in a research role via the National Institute for Health within the palliative care program.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Term ends 5/31/2018

Stephanie Hopkinson

President Elect - Stephanie Hopkinson, MA, CCLS

Stephanie Hopkinson, MA, CCLS is the Senior Child Life Manager at Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospitals (KACCH). Prior to moving to Kuwait Stephanie was the Child Life Clinical Educator at Sidra Research and Medical Center in Doha, Qatar.  Stephanie’s journey in Child Life includes over 25 years of clinical and academic experience.  In May of 2013 Stephanie received the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award in recognition for her exemplary child life work and high level of clinical skill.  Stephanie has worked at several hospitals including Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and Kaiser Permanente. During her time at KACCH, Sidra, Yale and CHLA Stephanie co-developed and implemented the child life internship programs.  In addition to her professional commitments Stephanie’s dedication to child life includes volunteering her time with Operation Smile. Through Operation Smile she has traveled with a multidisciplinary team to provide child life services in Kenya, the Philippines, and Malawi. She was invited and currently serves on the child life specialty council for the organization.

Stephanie is an accomplished speaker, trainer and writer.  Among her many accomplishments is the delivery of numerous international and national presentations on child life, leadership, reflective practice, professional care, and reflective supervision, including keynote addresses on race, ethnicity and culture, resiliency, and reflective practice.   She has written chapters in books including a chapter in a pediatric psychosocial oncology textbook and in Beyond the Hospitals, an ACLP publication.  As a respected educator, she has served as Senior Adjunct Faculty at Pacific Oaks College, as an Instructor at UCLA-Extension, and as lead consultant and curriculum design specialist for Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc., an international firm that offers training and technical assistance for children, youth and families. 

Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospitals
Term ends 5/31/2018

Kristin Maier

Past President - Kristin Maier, MS, CCLS

Following graduation from Bowling Green State University, I landed my first job as a Child Life Specialist at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. The move to Florida was the jump start to what has been an amazing journey in a field that has grown into a well-recognized asset in pediatric healthcare. During my tenure at All Children’s Hospital, I have been fortunate enough to be mentored and prepared by amazing leaders who have been instrumental in influencing who I am today. This guidance has helped outline my well-established beliefs, yet kept me humbly aware of my own opportunity for growth. During this journey, I completed my Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of St. Francis. My commitment to the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) began as a student with volunteering to serve as a “helper” at the national conference; and has continued throughout the decades: serving in roles as Board of Directors, committee member, and committee co/chair. The ACLP is an organization that I am proud to be associated with and I have a personal desire to support. Our profession and this organization- are rich with knowledge, wisdom, energy, passion and commitment. I am impressed with its current state and excited by its potential for future success. My strong commitment to quality child life practice beginning with education, and my ongoing introspective thought about the profession and it’s implication for child life work lend themselves to my desire to serve. I have a strong work ethic, tied with a vision for the future and complimented by a general attention to detail and organizational skills. These along with my desire to continue in my own personal growth are all skills that will work well together to benefit the ACLP’s Board of Directors leadership. I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered to serve the membership in this capacity

John's Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Term ends 5/31/2018

Anne Claire Hickman

Secretary - Anne Claire Hickman, MA, CCLS

Anne Claire Hickman is the Psychosocial Supervisor and serves as the child life specialist at Children's Comprehensive Care, an innovative grant-funded research clinic providing a medical home for children with medical complexity. She served as a member of the multi-disciplinary team which created this alternative approach to health care to improve health outcomes for children within this population. Development of this new model included creating short and long term strategies for the clinic with special emphasis on the provision of psychosocial care, identifying infrastructure needs, and collaborating in the formation of the research component. Anne Claire is currently working with the team on a community expansion of the clinic called Partners for Children’s Health which involves home visits, innovative psychosocial care such as mindfulness practices and positive parenting for this population, and collaborative partnerships with pediatricians in the community. Anne Claire serves as the community lead and oversees the community health workers and the family liaison.

Prior to her present position, Anne Claire worked as a Child Life Specialist Senior at Dell Children’s Medical Center in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and with the Palliative Care Team and served as a member of the child life department leadership team. She led and served on multiple departmental, hospital, and network wide committees. Anne Claire is completing her masters in counseling and is certified in infant massage instruction and Triple P family education. Anne Claire serves as chair of the Conference Program Committee for the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). This is her fourth year on this committee. She has presented multiple times at the annual child life conference including two half day intensives. Anne Claire was an invited presenter at a multi-state palliative care conference and co-created a poster presentation for Pediatric Academic Societies. 

Children's Comprehensive Care 
Term ends 5/31/2018

         Kimberly Stehens

Treasurer - Kim Stephens, CCLS, MPA

Kim Stephens, MPA, CCLS is the Child Life Supervisor at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. With over 26 years of clinical and leadership experience as a child life professional, Kim has worked previously at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland Ohio and Golisano Children’s Hospital formerly known as Strong Children’s Medical Center in Rochester, New York prior to moving to Texas in 2009.  Kim received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1989 and then completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Health Care at the State University of New York in Brockport, NY in 1996. Kim is currently serving as an ACLP Mentor and has previously served two terms as a Child Life Council Focus Review member, two terms as a Child Life Council exam writer, and served on the Child Life Council Vision to Action Committee that served as a planning board to provide a vision and action plan to guide the future of the child life profession.  She has given presentations at local, regional, and national conferences, including the National Hemophilia Association’s Annual conference, the Child Life Council Annual Conference, the Texas Pediatric Palliative Care Consortium and the Texas Pediatric Society. Kim currently serves as the Chair of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Bereavement Committee and the Family Advisory Board.

Children's Hospital of San Antonio
Term ends 5/31/2019

Alexandra Christofides

Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders Liaison - Alexandra Christofides, MSc(c), CCLS, RECE

Alex is on the Board of Directors for ACLP and the Canadian Liaison.  She is the President of the Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders and has served as the ACLP Board Liaison to the International Collaboration Committee and is currently the board liaison to the Awards Committee, Bulletin/Focus Committee and Editors.

Alex has been in the child life field for 28 years.  In 1998, she developed and implemented the Child Life Program at Humber River Hospital and runs the program where she developed and implemented the “Hug and Hold Parental Presence and Participation Program”.

Alex has presented Poster presentations at Conference for the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Care Centres (CAPHC) in 2005 in Newfoundland and participated as a panel presenter in the Canadian National KEN Webinar of Experts for Parental Presence for Induction in 2013 for CAPHC.  Alex has also presented Conference Sessions on Parental/Family Presence for Induction at the Ontario Hospital Associations Conference in Toronto, 2007 and at the International Conference for Patient and Family Centred Care in Philadelphia in 2010.

Alex has taught “Child Development”, “Abnormal Child Development” and “Working with Children and Families in Health Care” Courses at the College Level at both Centennial College and Humber College, Ontario for the Advanced Post-Grad Program for Nursing and the Paramedics Program.

Alex truly enjoys serving ACLP and looks forward to continuing to support the Child Life Profession!!!

Humber River Regional Hospital - Finch Site 
Term ends 5/31/2018

Nancy Ramhap

Child Life Certification Committee Chair - Nancy Ramhap, BS, CCLS

Nancy Ramhap is a member of the highly motivated Child Life Team at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania, where she serves the infant, toddler and school-aged children on a medical surgical unit.  Along with her clinical responsibilities, she is currently the Committee Chair for Miracle Fest, a free festival held on the hospital grounds during Children’s Miracle Network’s Celebration Weekend.  In addition, she served as the Committee Chair for the Children’s Hospital Art and Décor Committee for 11 years.   Nancy is currently working with a multidisciplinary committee to focus on pain management in pediatric populations and a new CISM Team.  In her tenure of 23 years at Geisinger, Nancy has received numerous awards within the health system including Employee of the Month and Service Hero.  As a founding and current Board Member of Camps For Spiffy-Kyds, Inc., Nancy helped to establish Camp Kydnie and Camp Spifida, serving the camps in various roles for the next twenty years. Geisinger Health System has benefited greatly from the Jared Box Project.  Nancy cherished her time getting to know Jared and his family and holds this project in his memory close to her heart.  She is currently a member of a Life Teen, Core Team serving the youth at her church.

Nancy has been a member of the Association of Child Life Professionals since 1990 and has served the Child Life Certifying Committee in various roles for 7 years. She has been a presenter on two occasions at the Delaware Valley Association of Child Life Professionals. Nancy has authored patient education materials in relation to surgery preparation, coping and parenting.

         Sara Barnett

Director - Sara Barnett, CCLS, MBA

Sara Barnett is the Manager of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapies Department at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Being a Child Life Specialist reinforced the life lessons her parents instilled from a young age.  “Listen to your body and know that your mind is a very powerful tool in overcoming challenges”, Mom. “Follow your passion, not your pension”, Dad.  These lesson and many more have served her well over the thirty years Sara has enjoyed as a CCLS. A few years ago, Sara’s passion for serving hospitalized children was challenged by the many healthcare pressures to cut costs so she went back to school and obtained her MBA in Healthcare Management.  This new knowledge provided balance and renewed hope for the future of the Child Life profession.  Sara has served on various committees with the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) through the years.  She has also been active in other organizations: Florida Association of Child Life Professionals, Boy Scouts of America, Vacation Bible School, School Advisory Committee, and Neighborhood Watch. Now that her two boys are grown, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband of thirty years out in their forest, on the pond with their two dogs or keeping their chickens out of the flower and vegetable gardens. 

Jessika Boles




Director - Jessika Boles, PhD, CCLS 

Jessika began her child life career in 2009 at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee, where she worked as a child life specialist for adolescents and young adults in solid tumor oncology.  After completing her undergraduate education at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where she majored in Religious Studies, she then earned her Master of Education degree in Applied Child Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  She is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology at The University of Memphis. Her dissertation research focuses on the ways in which young children with cancer construct an understanding of their diagnosis and treatment in the hospital setting; her previous research has explored the schooling experiences of children with cancer before and during treatment.  She has published her research in educational and qualitative research journals, and has presented on her work both at child life conferences and at regional, national, and international conferences in psychology and education.  In addition to her clinical work and research, she teaches undergraduate courses in human development, early childhood development, and foundations of child life.  Her work in the Association of Child Life Professionals has included serving as a member of the Evidence-Based Practice committee, volunteering for and co-chairing the Research and Scholarship Committee, and serving as a reviewer and currently the Executive Editor of Bulletin and Child Life Focus.  She also writes as an invited columnist for Pediatric Nursing.  She has served as the chair of her hospital’s Evidence-Based Practice Committee, and has held other leadership positions at the University of Memphis and the American Psychological Association.  She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is writing the final draft of her dissertation and teaching undergraduate child life courses for two universities.

East Tennessee State University

Term Ends 5/31/2018

Divna Wheelwright

Director - Divna Wheelwright, MA, CCLS 

Divna has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since graduating from Tufts University in 2011 with a Master’s in child development. First introduced to child life through her work with the Hole in the Wall Gang, Divna's commitment to the field is built upon the principles of patient advocacy, cultural humility and the empowerment of the underserved. Hunter S. Thompson provided Divna with her guiding adage as a clinician and leader when he wrote: "Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing."

Divna’s first appointment was at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where she worked from 2012-2015 in the Emergency Department with a special focus on grant writing and program development. In 2015 Divna graduated from the ACLP's inaugural Leadership Academy class and has since written articles for the ACLP Bulletin, Journal of Palliative Medicine and Hopkins Magazine. Divna joined the child life department at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in 2015 and the following year was promoted to Manager of Child Life and Volunteer Services.

Divna currently serves as a member of the Child Life Focus Review Board, Leadership Development Committee, and Advanced Professional Development Committee.

Children's Hospital of Michigan
Term ends 5/31/2019

     
         Janet Cross

Director - Janet Cross, MEd, CCLS, CPXP

Janet Cross is the Administrative Director of Patient- and Family-Centered Care at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  She is responsible for development, implementation, and evaluation of patient- and family-centered care initiatives as well as oversight of Child Life Services, Volunteer Services, Pastoral Care, Family Resource Center, Hospital School Program, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Seacrest Studios, Patient and Family Advisory Councils, Patient Experience, Patient Education. Janet obtained her Master of Education from Vanderbilt University and her Bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University. She is a certified Child Life Specialist through the Association of Child Life Professionals. and also a Certified Patient Experience Professional through the Patient Experience Institute.   Janet was awarded the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Child Life Council, is the recipient of the 2011 Judy Koonce Family-Centered Care Award, and was named a finalist as a "Woman of Influence” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2012.

She served as chair for the Child Life Certifying Committee (1996-98). From 2007 to 2009, she served in the roles of President-Elect, President, and Immediate-Past President. She chaired the Nashville CLC Conference Host Committee in 2005, and has been a member of a wide array of CLC committees and task forces over the years, including the Ethics Committee and Governance Task Force. She is one of five leaders selected as a program reviewer for the CLC Program Review and Development Service. Janet’s written contributions to the child life field include a chapter on child life administration in Richard Thompson’s Handbook of Child Life (2009).  She is also a member of the Nashville Ronald McDonald House Corporate Board and the Advisory Board for Cooper’s Troopers, a foundation for the support of siblings of children with cancer.  She is currently serving as the chair of the Pastoral Advisory Group associated with the Clinical Pastoral Education Program in Nashville.  

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Term ends 5/31/2019

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CEO - Jennifer Lipsey, MA

Jen is proud to be ACLP's CEO, a role in which she works to align resources and strategic initiatives to reach ACLP's strategic goals. She has a bachelor's degree in Child & Family Development and a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. Jen’s career ambitions have consistently led her to organizations with missions that involve advocacy for under-represented/marginalized populations, and she has found a home with ACLP. As a mother to two young daughters, Jen has a deep appreciation for the art and skill intrinsic to the child life profession and aims to support ACLP members who so generously give to others every day. She pursues rich conversations, meaningful outcomes and dynamics that result in long-term partnerships. Jen welcomes all opportunities to engage others in appreciating the depth of child life and increasing exposure to ACLP’s members.

Contact Information:
Phone: 571-483-4487 
Email: jlipsey@childlife.org