Texas Children’s Hospital
Opened in 2001, this Child Life Zone serves the largest Children’s Hospital in the country. Located on a family floor adjacent to other support services, the Zone fulfills the original zone mission by providing a place for young patients to hang out, play games, and unleash their creativity. In fact, the space includes a Radio Lollipop station, programmed by kids that can be broadcast throughout the hospital.
Mary Tietjens is a Certified Child Life Specialist with a Bachelors Degree in Growth and Development of Children/Child Life. Her career at Texas Children’s Hospital spans 23 years, during which she has provided psychosocial care to patients and families, provided education to students and staff, and implemented Child Life programming throughout the organization.
Mary was hired by Texas Children’s Hospital in October of 1989 as an outpatient child life specialist. She developed a support group for children with Cystic Fibrosis and collaborated with AIDS Foundation Houston to help develop two summer camp programs for children with HIV/AIDS.
After ten years in the outpatient department, expanded her focus to providing evidence-based practice research in support of the child life field. Her research received the Child Life Research Award in 2003, presented by the Child Life Council in Montreal, Quebec.
Currently Mary serves as the Manager for the Child Life Department at Texas Children’s Hospital.