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Child Life Council Recognizes Leaders in Child Life for Distinguished Service, Clinical Excellence and Philanthropic Support at 28th Annual Conference

The Child Life Council, the leading nonprofit professional association serving child life specialists, announced today the 2010 award winners to be honored at the 28th Annual Conference on Professional Issues taking place June 11 - 13, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Melissa "Missi" Hicks receives the Distinguished Service Award, Belinda "Bindy" Sweett i s honored with the inaugural Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award, and Charles "Chuck" Rumbarger and Starlight Children's Foundation have been selected as the 2010 CLC Spirit of Giving Award winners.

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) June 3, 2010 -- The Child Life Council, the leading nonprofit professional association serving child life specialists, announced today the 2010 award winners for the Distinguished Service Award, the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award, and the Spirit of Giving Award.

Melissa “Missi” Hicks, MS, CCLS, LPC, RPT-S, has been named as the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Service Award. First bestowed upon Emma Plank in 1988, the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is presented once a year by the CLC Executive Board to an individual in the field of child life who has contributed significantly to the development of the profession. Ms. Hicks’ enterprising spirit and outstanding contributions to the child life profession were key factors in her selection. With a unique career trajectory that sets her apart from previous award winners, Missi has demonstrated that there are many ways to be a great child life leader. Her pioneering efforts in creating opportunities in new frontiers, such as her work at Camp Sunshine and Wonders & Worries, have helped the larger professional child life community embrace her vision of a future where child life extends well beyond the hospital. Today, Ms. Hicks continues her innovative work as a child life consultant based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Belinda “Bindy” Sweett, CCLS has been named as the recipient of the inaugural Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award. The Child Life Council established the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award in 2009 to recognize child life specialists who have demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill. Ms. Sweett’s professional child life clinical work has been at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she has been a respected and integral member of the child life department for over 20 years. Examples of her outstanding work include the development of an internship program, integrating child life services into the pre-admission clinic, and innovative work with specialty teams such as the pain team. Currently, Ms. Sweett also serves as Sessional Instructor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria.

Starlight Children’s Foundation and Charles D. Rumbarger, CAE have been selected as the 2010 recipients of the Child Life Council Spirit of Giving Award. The Spirit of Giving award, established in 2007, is designed to recognize organizations and individuals making significant monetary or in-kind contributions that have a positive impact on child life programs on a national or international level.

For more than 25 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation has helped seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. In fulfilling this mission, Starlight brings together experts from pediatric health care, technology and entertainment to create programs that educate, entertain and inspire seriously ill children. In providing Starlight programming, the child life specialist is equipped with invaluable resources to help children and families cope with the challenges they face daily.

Charles D. Rumbarger, CAE is one of the association community’s most experienced and acknowledged professionals. Currently President of Organization Guidance Group, LLC his professional path has spanned almost forty years. In 2008, the Child Life Council initiated a Governance Task Force to review best governance practices in associations and board development. Mr. Rumbarger served as a pro-bono consultant offering CLC expert leadership, invaluable knowledge, significant time and resources. During CLC’s Executive Director Search in 2009, Mr. Rumbarger provided a smooth transition of leadership, setting the stage for ongoing growth and development of the organization and the profession.

The CLC Awards will be presented at the Opening and Closing General Sessions during the 28 Annual Conference on Professional Issues in Phoenix, Arizona June 11 – 13, 2010.

About Child Life Council
Child Life Council (CLC) is the leading membership association for child life specialists, professionals who are specially trained to help children manage stressful and potentially traumatic experiences. Membership is composed of over 4,000 individuals representing more than 600 organizations worldwide.

Throughout the United States, Canada, and in nations across the globe, child life specialists provide support for children and their families undergoing challenging life events, such as surgery, cancer, diabetes, the death of a family member, and natural disasters. Child life specialists promote effective coping through play, education, and self-expression, drawing on child development theory and practice to encourage optimum development and well-being. To learn more about Child Life Council and the child life profession, please visit our Web site at

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