Congratulations, Civita Brown, ACLP's 2020 Distinguished Service Award Recipient!

"You are a rock star child life professional...truly, one of the child life icons."
Leslie Grissim

"Your dedication and selfless efforts are evident in your accomplishments in the child life profession, both locally and nation-wide."
Laura M. Casamento, Ed.D.
President, Utica College 

"Civita has, without a doubt, built an incredible legacy of care for patients, families, and our field with every endeavor she has undertaken. Service like hers brilliantly exemplifies the goals upon which this Distinguished Service Award was founded."
Jessika Boles

Civita Brown

"You have done so much to preserve and promote the history of our profession. Thank you! "
- Claire White

 "I have learned so much from you, and above all, you are always  advocating, educating and adapting child life to so many different settings and applications."
Lois Pearson

"You have accomplished so much...through your direct service to children and families, your instruction and supervision of students, your extension of child life services into the community, and your contributions to professional organizations."
Dick Thompson

Thank you for your initiative behind the maintenance of (and love for!) the Child Life Archives at Utica; what a tremendous gift to our field that it exists on your campus!  Ellen

As our communities and our world struggle with COVID-19, my thoughts and prayers are with all the families confronting this disease, the healthcare workers, and especially my fellow child life specialists continuing to navigate these rough waters and support those on the front lines, as well as the essential workers who are supporting us all by providing for our everyday needs.
Read the rest of Civita's acceptance speech


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The Archives Committee had a virtual party to celebrate with Civita.
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Civita newsletter


Pips book written by Civita

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Civita Brown, MSEd, CCLS

Civita A. Brown, MSEd, CCLS began her journey into the field of child life in 1977, when she enrolled as the first student in Utica College’s Psychology-Child Life Program under the mentorship of Dr. Gene Stanford. She subsequently completed internships at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, New York, and in 1978, she established the child life program at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Thompson. 

She returned to Utica College in 1987 as Director of Medical Education for the Clinical Medical Network, a New York State grant-funded program intended to develop and retain physicians. Concurrently, she joined the Department of Psychology-Child Life as an adjunct professor, and in 1993, she became Coordinator of Internships for the Psychology-Child Life Department. She retired from teaching in 2017.

In 2003, Civita implemented the first program to provide comprehensive child life services in a school district at Sauquoit Elementary School in Sauquoit, New York, work which was supported by an Appleby Award and published in a chapter entitled “The School Setting” in Child Life Beyond the Hospital (Hicks ed., 2008).  In 2009, she and Susan Cooper, CCLS formed Brown & Cooper, LLC to provide child life consulting service. They subsequently received a grant from the Madison-Oneida County BOCES/CORE Program to offer child life services to five school districts between 2010 and 2016, the first such program in the U.S.

As a longstanding member of the ACLP, Civita has served as a member of the Archives Committee since 2001 and as co-chairperson from 2001 – 2016. She also served on the Academic and Internship Committees. During her time as chair of the Archives Committee, she and Lois Pearson co-produced “Following the Dream” (2002), “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (2007), and “A Monumental Year: A Monumental Profession” (2012).  These videos were presented at the ACLP (then Child Life Council) Anniversary Conferences. Civita also received a grant from the New York State Documentary Heritage Program which supported the initial acquisition and organization of child life historical documents now found in the Child Life Archives at Utica College. With Joan Turner, she co-edited two books of child life history, The Pips of Child Life: Early Play Programs in Hospitals (2014) and The Pips of Child Life: The Middle Years of Play Programs in Hospitals (2016).

Civita’s interest in preserving the history of the child life profession was sparked when she first met Jerriann Wilson. She was awed by Jerriann’s knowledge of the history of child life and has learned so much from her. Civita’s passion and enthusiasm for child life and the preservation of the history of child life has been reflected in her teaching and mentoring of students, in her organizational work to promote child life, and in her many publications and conference presentations.


Read an article in the spring 2020 ACLP Bulletin: Civita Brown: DSA Recipient and Innovator in All Things Child Life
Civita-Brown-Bulletin article

Child Life Profession