The ACLP Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award is presented annually to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill.
This award is named after, and honors, the late Mary Barkey. Mary was a pioneer in the field of child life. She received a BA in Early Childhood Development at the University of Nebraska. She later received an MA in Counseling and Human Services from John Carroll University. In 1980, she found a special calling in the Child Life Department at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, where she worked through 2007. Mary saw new possibilities in caring for children undergoing stressful procedures and began applying her ever-practical ingenuity.
Over time, innovative methods she and the late Barbara Stephens developed became known as "Comfort Measures", which have been adopted by hospitals nationally and internationally. An article written by Mary in the Summer 2008 issue of ACLP Bulletin
describes how she developed this new method.
Mary served on the national board of the Child Life Council, and in 2007 was honored with the RB&C Foundation Trustee Award for Clinical Excellence.