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Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Honors Texas Native for Her Passion in Helping Children

Amanda Ammons works with most vulnerable patients at Children’s HealthSM

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (March 9, 2022) – It’s a job that isn’t well-known in a children’s hospital: navigating children and families through the process of illness, injury, disability, trauma or hospitalization.

Amanda Ammons, child life specialist at Children’s Health in Dallas, manages the stress and anxiety of children suffering from the unthinkable, showing them love and concern, and helping them cope and feel safe again.

In honor of her dedication to change kids’ health throughout the past 11 years, Ammons is being recognized by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) and national corporate partner Ace Hardware with the 2022 Child Life Specialist Award. This recognition is part of the celebration of Child Life Month in March.

Child life specialists support the emotional and mental health needs of young, hospitalized patients and their families with programs that bring comfort, joy and a sense of normalcy. These programs include art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, play activities and comfort toys and tools.

Patient services, which include child life programs, are one of six primary areas of fundraising for CMN Hospitals. In 2020, more than $90 million was raised by the nonprofit to fund patient services supporting the health and well-being of patients and families at member children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

“Amanda’s passion for helping children has taken many different forms during her career at Children’s Health,” said Susan Lakey, Director of Family Support Services at Children’s Health. “But no matter where she has served, she’s always exhibited genuine love and concern for our patients.”

Ammons joined Children’s Health in 2010 and has been working as a child life specialist helping all the hospital’s pediatric trauma patients since 2019. Prior to that, she worked in a clinic for at-risk children with HIV, low birth weight, infectious diseases or who were victims of child abuse. 

Ammons had a critical role in developing a child life zone at the medical center, consulting on the design of the area for hospitalized children to learn and play, choosing every game and toy, and later planning all its therapeutic activities after opening.

She also pioneered the service dog program at CMC. She and her service dog Van visit children all over the hospital. When Van was banned from entering the hospital by COVID-19 restrictions, she created “Van Videos” around different themes to play in patient rooms.

Ammons serves the community by working with support groups, at summer camps, and at a weekend camp for children with HIV. She also provided emotional support for families at a shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“Amanda has consistently gone above and beyond in helping children and families in her community. Children’s hospitals rely upon donations to support the important work of Amanda and other child life specialists,” said Teri Nestel, president & CEO of CMN Hospitals. “That’s why we are so grateful to our community partners, like Ace Hardware, its employees and customers, for coming together to provide funding for essential child life programs.”

Adding to the celebration, Ace Hardware further showed its commitment to children’s health and wellness by donating $20,000 to Children’s Health.

Visit, to learn more about how Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and its network supports the health of 10 million kids each year. Donations go to local hospitals to fund life-saving treatments, innovative research, vital medical equipment, child life services and financial assistance for kids and families. Together, we can change kids’ health. Together, we can change the future.

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About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals that support the health of 10 million kids each year across the U.S. and Canada. Donations go to local hospitals to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, child life services that put kids’ and families’ minds at ease during difficult hospital stays and financial assistance for families who could not otherwise afford these health services. When we improve the health of all children and allow them the opportunity to reach their full potential, we also improve our communities for years to come. Together, we can change kids’ health. Together, we can change the future. To learn about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and your local children’s hospital, visit