Meet Sarah Leavitt

Child Life Specialist

Sarah Leavitt VNA Hospice Child Life Specialist

For Child Life Specialist Sarah Leavitt, no day is ever the same. Whether visiting children of our adult patients, siblings of pediatric patients or meeting with pediatric patients and their parents, Sarah’s main goal is to provide emotional support and education about the disease process. Sarah also facilitates meaningful therapeutic play with patients and children and creates legacy or “memory-making” activities for families.

Sarah describes her vocation as a calling. “I always knew I wanted to work with children, and I started in education. I quickly realized that I was looking for a career with children in the medical field and after shadowing a team of Child Life Specialists, I knew right away that this is it”, said Sarah.

You may have seen the Amazon Wish List Sarah created for those who would like to donate legacy items and therapeutic activities for families and children. The legacy items, Sarah says, are “irreplaceable.” The hand molds, for example, are a gift to the families after their loved ones pass away as they can keep them forever. Other crafts, books and tools on the list are developmentally appropriate and are used for therapeutic play, education and coping strategies for pediatric patients, siblings of pediatric patients or children of adult patients.

Sarah says, “There are so many things we can do for the patients and their family members to help reduce the stress and anxiety they feel and increase their understanding of the diagnosis.”

One of Sarah’s favorite parts of the job is working with Wish with Wings, a nonprofit organization in North Texas that grants wishes for those with life threatening diseases.

While often it’s a trip to Disney that kids wish for, a family photography session may be the perfect wish for a family with a seriously ill baby. “Not only does Wish with Wings coordinate the photographer, but they also take care of buying the outfits for the entire family and ensure that every single detail is taken care of. This gives the family a memory that they will cherish forever,” says Sarah.

Sarah realizes that a work-life balance is critical for her to maintain her health and well-being. She credits running and lifting weights as her main outlet to manage her stress, as well as crafting and enjoying the outdoors. Sarah and her husband are parents to two young sons, ages 2 and 5.