Originally opened in 1996 as “Aikman’s End Zone,” this space was the first interactive, therapeutic playroom that led to the launch of the Child Life Zone Network. With a vision of pediatric patients having the opportunity to chat with other kids at Children’s Hospitals across the country, the Troy Aikman Foundation and Starbright came together to provide the place and the technology to make it happen. The Zone was remodeled in 2003 and continues to serve the Child Life program.
Renee Hunte has been in the pediatric health care field for twenty years, with a focus on hematology and oncology and degrees in Therapeutic Recreation and Family Counseling. She joined Children’s Medical Center Dallas as the Child Life Director in 2008, after working in a similar position at the Children’s Cancer Hospital at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. While at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, she developed several new programs, including a week-long in-hospital camp experience, a Child Life mentoring program, the Beads of Courage program, and an annual donor Christmas in July event.
Her professional interests include: quality of life issues, patient and sibling support, bereavement, and mentoring upcoming Child Life professionals. She has been actively involved in the Phoenix Delta Sigma Theta organization, served on the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Diversity Committee, served as a board member of the Phoenix Ronald McDonald House, and volunteered at St. Joseph’s hospital and at the Sojourner Center for Domestic Violence.