Samuelson Children’s Hospital
Dr. Aziza T. Shad
For Dr. Aziza T. Shad, chair of the Samuelson Children’s Hospital of Sinai Hospital’s Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, taking an aggressive, innovative approach to meeting the psycho-social elements of treating young patients is just as important as enhancing medical treatment.
She’s done this by introducing a variety of programs for patients and their families that range from cooking lessons and art therapy to organizing superhero parties. “These efforts help to ensure young patients are in an optimum state of mind and ready and open to receiving treatment for cancer and other serious pediatric conditions,” she said.
The hospital’s Child Life program helps promote coping mechanisms through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities. The program’s specialists are college-educated and trained, and available for patients at their bedside or in a designated play area. They’ve also expanded their role to serve patients’ needs in the Emergency Department to help special needs children and other patients with pain control.
But Dr. Shad is not content with keeping the program static or in hospital. She’s started a program to guide new patients through their stay at the hospital, and is helping secure funding for a Child Life therapist in the pediatric Emergency Department.