NEWS | February 11, 2013

Children's Hospital, Cancer Center get major boost for Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department


Check presentation © UC Regents
From left to right: Diana Sundberg, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department manager, Shanda Pierce, owner of the Sacramento region's Spirit Halloween Superstores, Robin Steinhorn, chair, Department of Pediatrics, Mikayla Pierce, Shanda's daughter, and Natalie Reese, manager Sacramento's Spirit stores.

A program that provides children with support through education, play, music and art received a big boost Friday with the gift of $56,360 from the Spirit of Halloween Superstores.

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, which operates in the Children’s Hospital, will use the funds to pay for fellowships for individuals training to become certified child life specialists. For the first time, one of the fellows will be assigned to the pediatric infusion center, now located in the Comprehensive Cancer Center on 45th Street.

“There are so many areas within the Children’s Hospital where we haven’t been able to provide Child Life services,” said department manager Diana Sundberg. She said the fellow will be able to assist the pediatric infusion clinic staff by providing the patients with support coping during procedures, diversionary activities during chemotherapy treatment, self-expression projects and other interventions, as needed.

“This support for the Child Life Department is so important because it allows a great children’s hospital to be even more amazing,” said Robin Steinhorn, professor and Chief of the Department of Pediatrics.

Spirit of Halloween franchise owner Shandra Pierce said the funds were raised thanks to sales associates and generous customers of the company’s Halloween-themed pop-up stores throughout California, as well as outside organizations, which held events to raise additional contributions.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and Level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. With more than 120 physicians in 33 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital has more than 74,000 clinic and hospital visits and 13,000 emergency department visits each year. For more information, visit