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Delta Air Lines announces the first-ever Child Life Specialist of the Year award winner

Delta Air Lines and CMN Hospitals partner to create the Child Life Specialist of the Year award to honor Child Life Specialists

 SALT LAKE CITY, UT (April 11, 2019) — Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) is pleased to announce that Sarah Beth Gray, CCLS, II, is the recipient of the inaugural Child Life Specialist of the Year award.

Presented by Delta Air Lines, Gray was chosen from a group of of more than 40 child life specialists nominated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals member hospitals from across the United States in recognition for her outstanding service and commitment to patients.

As a Child Life Specialist in the Radiology department at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Gray has spent the past 13 years empowering children and families as they navigate complicated and emotional journeys with illness and disability.

In 2012, the radiology department leadership asked Gray to help improve the experience of children receiving MRI scans. The goal was to increase the number of children able to complete the scans without sedation.

Gray created the Patients Awake While Scanned (PAWS) program. The program focuses on communication between a Child Life Specialist and each child’s caregiver. The Child Life Specialist offers advice and tips to help prepare the child for the scan and creates customized support on the day of the procedure. Using the PAWS program, Gray has made a dramatic difference in the lives of young patients.

As the winner of the Child Life Specialist of the Year award, Sarah Beth Gray received two  round-trip Delta tickets. The airline also made a $15,000 donation to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in honor of Gray. The donation will be used by the hospital to purchase an additional pair of MRI goggles for young patients to wear as the participate in the PAWS program.

Delta Air Lines, in partnership with CMN Hospitals, created the Child Life Specialist of the Year award to honor and recognize the hard work and compassion of Child Life Specialists and the critical services they provide for hospitalized children and their families, along with bringing awareness to the need for child life funding at children’s hospitals.

Child Life Specialists help normalize the hospital experience and bring joy and comfort to pediatric patients and their families. Many of the funds raised by CMN Hospitals are used to fund Child Life programs and help make up the gap between what government and insurance pay for and the actual cost of caring for kids in our member hospitals.

About Delta
Delta Air Lines is working to connect the world and that starts by making a difference in the communities where Delta people live, work and serve. When customers choose Delta, they make a difference in communities around the world. In 2018, Delta and The Delta Air Lines Foundation contributed over $50 million through the airline’s commitment to give one percent of its annual income to key charitable organizations. Delta employees actively volunteer their time and talents in addition to an annual paid day of service, which puts over 600,000 additional volunteer hours into communities across the globe. The airline focuses on key areas such as health and wellness, education, military and veterans, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion.