Letter of Recommendation—Presbyterian Healthcare Services—Child Life Program

Download Child Life Letter of Recommendation

November 27, 2012

To whom it may concern:

When I think of Jan DeMaggio and her team I think of them as non‐medical homemakers; entering a home with personal care and compassion in making dreams come true. I believe that dreams do come true as I was instrumental in getting a therapeutic play area designed and built for children at Presbyterian Hospital. My dream came true and touches lives briefly. Jan and her team touch lives deeply forever and ever.

It is clear that the Albuquerque Special Spaces Team approach a project not only to ‘do good’ but to analyze and understand the values of the patient and family they are interacting with. Time is spent getting to know a family, building trust and rapport. Think about letting a group of strangers into your home while you are asked to leave the premises. Jan leads her team with integrity and this is obvious to everyone, such that the trust and rapport are built quickly. Leadership from the family, from the Special Spaces team and the Community are combined to create magic—trust, rapport and a dream that comes true.

The value of Special Spaces stems from the fact that it is useful, there is moral justification to improve the quality of a family’s life. The justification is ethical. Sick children and family members endure unethical behavior in part due to the ignorance of our society. The minute a child of difference walks out his front door, he is subject to rejection and ridicule. Returning home, the child regains his/her sense of integrity that has been enhanced by the work of Special Spaces.

All of the time and effort Special Spaces contributes to making a perfect setting in the home helps the child and family feel ‘whole’ again. The space to call their own is like a backbone that promotes a feeling of courage for the child and a sense of relief for the parent. It sustains the core of enjoying life.

All of this defines the credibility of Jan DeMaggio’s efforts to sustain the Albuquerque chapter of Special Spaces.

I can speak to the integrity of this program as I participated in a room make over. My eight hours of observations and efforts were amazing. The common good being addressed by common people to create a unique (hardly common environment) for a special family was an experience I will never forget.

I endorse this program with genuine respect, admiration and awe. The make‐over far exceeded my expectation and I am sure others in the future will as well; as I hope to continue to participate in these projects.

Rebecca Armstrong, MA
Child Development Specialist & Counselor
Child Life Program Director
Presbyterian Healthcare Services