Congratulations, Erin Munn, ACLP's 2020 Mary Barkey Award Recipient!

"You have that unique blend of kid skills and thinking skills that create a unique force of nature in our profession."
Kat Davitt

"Thank you, Erin, for your generosity of your heart, soul and strong spirit in the work you have done and continue to do. You are a wonderful role model, teacher and leader."
Leslie Grissim 

"Erin has been a trailblazing voice for change, pouring her skills and talents into serving a group of patients and families that is stigmatized and under served."
Jessika Boles

Erin Munn

"Team Hope has been an incredibly successful initiative that has provided transformational care for hundreds of children and families, and Erin is the engine that makes all of that run."
Travis W. Crook, MD

"From your early days with us at Hopkins, it was clear that you had special expertise with the application of psycho-social research to your work with children and their families."
Jerriann Wilson

Erin, CONGRATULATIONS! In addition to your exceptional work for many, many years as a child life clinician, I also salute your significant contributions to our field—as I recall, you were the first CLC President who was a direct clinician; how you balanced that responsibility with full time clinical work, I’ll never know! Ellen Hollon


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A Tribute from Mary Barkey's Daughters

On behalf of Mary Barkey's family, we congratulate Erin on winning this Clinical Excellence award. There are so many parallels between Mary Barkey's and Erin Munn's careers, too to write about here, so we've highlighted the most striking similarities. Erin has had nearly as long a career as Child Life Specialist (25 years) as Mary (28) and both of them have participated in strengthening the professional association in a variety of roles, with Erin even serving as its president. Collaboration across teams is another area that is clearly as important to Erin as it was to Mary. We believe that Mary would have loved to hear about Erin's involvement with Project Hope and its inter-disciplinary support to families living through neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Mary developed an interest in research and spent several years as part of a team studying developmental outcomes of children born prematurely, which took her outside of the hospital into homes. We were pleased to see the range of Erin's research interests, including several aspects of children with NAS, community care for children with chronic illness, and even well-being among Child Life Specialists. Mary was proud to be an adjunct professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve and Erin was the first non-nurse to be given a fellowship in Evidence-based Nursing Practice. Finally, Erin worked with a colleague to expand awareness on the psycho-social care of children in health care to Macedonia and Serbia mirrors Mary's work in India and Brazil.

We are sure that Mary Barkey would be very pleased to know that Erin Munn is being honored with this award and we look forward to meeting Erin at a future ACLP conference.  Erin, we hope that this award gives you confidence to continue your innovating and team building, to make the work better for children and their families. We are grateful to your for carrying on child- and family centered care to ease suffering and provide comport.  

Nanette, Jeanne, and Cheryl Barkey

2Erin Munn_Video Viewing Party at Hospital 5.18.20
Video Viewing Party at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s
1Erin Munn_Video Viewing Party at Hospital
Virtual Celebration of Erin's Award

Erin Munn, MS, CCLS

Erin Munn, MS, CCLS is a Child Life Specialist 3 at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, with twenty-five years of experience as a Certified Child Life Specialist.  Since 2017, she has served as the child life specialist within a healthcare improvement initiative focused on improving care for women and newborns affected by the opioid crisis during their prenatal care, birth admission, and up to one year post-partum.  Prior to this position, Erin has served children and families across a wide range of inpatient and outpatient areas, including cardiology, critical care, presurgery, burn/trauma, and specialty clinics, first with the Child Life Department at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1995 to 2011, before joining Child Life Services at Vanderbilt in 2011.

Throughout her career, she has maintained a commitment to the professional development of child life students and staff, with highlights including her roles as a child life clinical specialist, interim staff supervisor, internship coordinator, and as co-chair of the Internship Task Force for the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) which developed standardized curriculum modules and a supervisor manual for child life internship programs. In addition to numerous presentations at conferences in the United States, Erin has been an invited speaker for conferences and education series in New Zealand, the Philippines, and in the Balkans.

During her time at Johns Hopkins, Erin helped to co-author a training curriculum titled Child-centered health care trainer manual: A 5-day inservice training course for pediatric health care workers and collaborated with fellow authors to pilot the training for healthcare providers at a pediatric hospital in Macedonia before implementing the training for representatives of 10 hospitals in Serbia.  Erin has been an active member of ACLP since 1995 and is a former President of the organization.  Additional highlights of her leadership within ACLP include serving as a Board liaison for the Clinical Supervision Task Force, as chairperson for the Conference Planning Committee and the Child Life Certifying Committee, and the Internship Task Force, and as an inaugural member of the Internship Accreditation Oversight Committee. 

Child Life Profession