The John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children assists children and adolescents coping with illness and medical treatment.

Want to make a 2019 Holiday Gift Donation? Please see our Gift Giving Guidelines.

The program is dedicated to creating a comfortable, therapeutic and family-centered environment. Our goal is to optimize a patient’s growth and development, decrease anxiety and foster positive coping skills. Medical preparation and procedural support, offered by the John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program, helps patients gain a sense of mastery over their health care experiences. We encourage play opportunities and peer socialization to help normalize the hospital setting.

Child Life Specialists are certified in the assessment and treatment of the developmental, emotional and psychosocial issues of children. As members of the health care team, we provide consultation and intervention services regarding child development and the impact of illness, injury and hospitalization on children and families.


  • Hospital pre-admission tours and education by appointment.
  • Support to patients and families before, during and after medical procedures.
  • Therapeutic play and recreational activities to monitor intellectual, motor, emotional and social development in a comforting, child-centered environment.
  • Educational and supportive services for staff, patients, families and school systems, emphasizing emotional needs and comprehensive health care.

Inpatient Special Programs


Monthly interactive workshops with facilitators from the Museum of Fine Arts. Patients model their own projects based on the greatest masters throughout history.

SEA Star

Offers children and their families an opportunity to experience the New England Aquarium after hours for a unique, crowd-free, educational, and fun-filled visit.


Established by the Museum of Science, this program provides engaging hands-on engineering and science activities which build self-confidence and creativity in children.

Hero Circle, Martial Arts Program

Weekly demonstrations from Sensei Joe and his team focusing on empowering patients and promoting positive energy through deep breathing and martial arts exercises.

HOP Program

(Hole In The Wall Gang Camp Hospital Outreach Program) – Brings the spirit of camp - including opportunities for play, creativity and self-expression to our inpatient units.

Ryan’s Case for Smiles

Sewing group which engages children in creating personalized pillowcases.


Police and security staff at MGH partner with pediatric patients on the inpatient units to engage in fun interactive activities.

Fairytale Fridays

Magical Miss Amy comes monthly dressed as favorite Disney princesses, as she enchants pediatric patients on the inpatient units.

Child Life Volunteers

Child Life volunteers support and provide play opportunities for our inpatient population. For additional information, please refer to the volunteer web page.

Baby Cuddling

Specially trained volunteers offer nurturing and comfort to our youngest population. For additional information, please refer to the volunteer web page.

Complimentary Therapies

Pet therapy, music therapy, art therapy, massage, acupuncture and clown therapy.

John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Internship Opportunities and Requirements

  • Internship Coordinator: Anne Bouchard Pizzano, MS, CCLS, John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program manager,
  • Eligible candidates MUST be enrolled in a child life program at the time of internship completion and have completed a minimum of 100 hours of child life volunteer and/or practicum experience under the supervision of a certified child life specialist.
  • John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program internships are offered during the Fall and Spring academic semesters. Summer internships are not offered.
  • Application submissions must be received or post marked by the Child Life Council’s established deadlines. Please refer directly to the Child Life Councils website for submission deadline dates as well as offer and acceptance deadlines.
  • Application materials include the John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Application, current resume, all official undergraduate and graduate transcripts and three letters of recommendation. A completed application packet must be received at one time with all materials included in a single envelope. NOTE: WE DO NOT ACCEPT THE CHILD LIFE COMMON APPLICATION.
  • For additional John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program internship information, please refer to following resources:

Meet the Team

John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program Manager

Anne Bouchard Pizzano, MS, CCLS


Ellison 17 Pediatric Unit (Birth through Eight Years)
Office Phone: 617-724-5727


Ellison 18 Pediatric Unit (Eight Years through Twenty-One Years)
Office Phone: 617-724-5839


Emergency Department
Office Phone: 617-643-9276


Pediatric Endoscopy
Office Phone: 857-238-7347


Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic
Office Phone: 617-643-1819


Pediatric Imaging
Office Phone: 617-724-1153


Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Office Phone: 617-724-4350


Pediatric Radiation Oncology
Office Phone: 617-643-9233