child life specialist playing game with boy in bed

Supporting Patients and Families

When you need help, we're by your side with support and reassurance.

At Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, we have developed many ways to support you and your child. Our support services and programs are designed to give you the resources you need and make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible. 

We provide a wide range of physical, emotional, and spiritual support services.

Specialized Staff

Child Life Specialists

Our Child Life Program specialists use medical play and distraction to help children cope with medical treatments and procedures. These strategies can reduce stress to create a positive, nurturing environment for your entire family.

Family Advocate

Family advocates provide emotional support and help you navigate your hospital stay. They can also provide you with communication tools to help you be an active partner on your child's healthcare team. To contact our Family Advocate Program, call 954-265-0191.

Hospital Homebound School Program

We operate this program in partnership with Broward County Public Schools. During regular school hours, a teacher is on-site to help hospitalized children in grades K-12 keep up with their schoolwork.

Interpreter & Special Needs Services

We know how important it is to receive medical care in your own language. To assist you, we provide educational materials in Spanish and bilingual signage throughout Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

In addition, we offer translation services in many languages. Our interpreters include bilingual employees or volunteers who receive training to serve as medical interpreters. We also use contracted over-the-phone and video interpreter services.

If you or your child require accommodations with low-vision, hearing-impaired telephone devices or closed captioning, we can help.

To arrange translation services or special needs assistance, please contact our Patients With Special Needs Office at 954-276-5293.

Mentor Program

When a child receives a new diagnosis or is living with a chronic illness, it is helpful to meet families that have gone through the same experience. Our family advocate can match you with a mentor family based on your child's diagnosis or experience.

To broaden the impact of our Mentor Program, we partner with national support programs. For example, Mended Little Hearts supports children with congenital heart defects and their families. Pep Squad provides a Facebook group where parents of children with Type 1 diabetes can connect. To schedule a meeting with our family advocate, please call 954-265-1070.

Social Workers

A social worker is assigned to each unit to provide support and counseling during your child's stay. They can help you access medical and nonmedical resources and assist with your child’s discharge needs.

Love Jen Family Support Center


The Love Jen Family Support Center is a spacious area where families and patients can get together in a home-like environment. Located on the fourth floor of Memorial Regional Hospital — just across the skywalk from Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

  • Comfortable seating area with a large-screen TV
  • Internet cafe
  • Kitchen area with café tables
  • Laundry facilities
  • Playrooms for young children
  • Relaxation Room
  • Teen Room
Child Playrooms

Our indoor playrooms are areas where children can have fun and learn. They feature arts and crafts, toys and games. We also host special hospital events here.

You can find playrooms in the Love Jen Family Center and on the third and fourth floors of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Please call the Child Life Department at 954-265-0171 to confirm playroom hours.

Toddler Time, located in the Love Jen Family Center playroom, is a special program for our youngest patients. Children can attend with or without their parents. This playtime runs Monday – Friday, 11 am – noon, and allows your toddler to socialize while you take a break.

Teen Rooms

Our teen rooms provide a warm environment to relax, play games and connect with peers going through similar challenges.

Teen rooms are located in the Love Jen Family Center and on the third and fourth floors of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Please call the Child Life Department at 954-265-0171 to confirm open hours.

Relaxation Room

Patients and families can take advantage of our relaxation room to unwind in a calm environment. Here, you can sit in a massage chair, listen to soothing music or snuggle up with a book from the library. Please call our Family Advocate at 954-265-0191 to schedule an appointment.

Serenity Salon

Just off the Relaxation Room, you'll find Serenity Salon, which offers hair styling services every Tuesday. To schedule an appointment:

  • Call our Family Advocate at 954-265-0191
  • Sign up on the list posted at the salon on Monday nights

Emotional Support

Closed-Circuit TV Programming

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital produces its own closed-circuit TV programming. Our shows allow patients who cannot leave their rooms to engage in activities and have fun.

Tune in and you might find:

  • Art therapy and music therapy sessions
  • Fun times with Lotsy Dotsy the clown
  • Live events put on by the Child Life and integrative therapy teams
  • Weekly game shows you can watch from your room and participate in by phone

Managing your child’s medical care can be complex. Our KidCierge program provides concierge-like services to guide, support and assist you at every step. To reach a KidCierge representative, call 833-588-5633.

Spiritual Support

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has a chapel on the first floor. A chaplain is also on call for spiritual guidance. Contact 954-265-5153 for more information.

Support Groups

Support groups help patients and families connect and support each other. They can be sources of empathy, reassurance and hope. We coordinate support groups for families who are going through similar challenges.

Teddy Bear Tour

This program is for patients and families who would like a tour of the hospital before their planned stay or procedure. When you take a tour, your child receives a teddy bear or stuffed animal to accompany them for comfort and medical play.

A tour can help your child and family understand what to expect, which can reduce fear and anxiety.

Child Life Program

Our therapy dogs lend a helping paw.

Healing Therapies

In addition to advanced medical care, we provide the following complementary therapies that can help your child feel better physically and emotionally.

Healing Therapies


Clinical aromatherapy can help reduce pain, nausea and headaches. We provide aromatherapy throughout Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital as an additional service for patients and families.

Art Therapy

Art helps children cope with their hospital experience by providing a safe and developmentally appropriate way to express themselves.

Our art therapists harness children’s creative and expressive capabilities. They use art to support the social, psychological, emotional, developmental and physical needs of children and families.

Book Therapy

Reading can lower stress and help children cope with illness, injury and hospitalization. Our Family Resource Center, located on the first floor of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, features a library with many types of books. Patients and families can check out books throughout their stay.

Clown Therapy

Lotsy Dotsy, our resident clown, has been turning frowns into smiles for more than two decades. Children and grown-ups alike enjoy singing songs, blowing bubbles and playing the harmonica with Lotsy Dotsy.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy in a hospital setting can provide many benefits, such as improved circulation, mobility, mood and sleep patterns. Patients may also have less pain, muscle tension, nausea, stress and anxiety.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is the clinical use of music to reach a patient’s treatment goals, such as:

  • Developmental growth
  • Emotional expression and coping
  • Pain and anxiety management

Music therapists at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital provide developmentally appropriate music interventions to empower children and support families. Our music therapy services include:

  • Bereavement and legacy building
  • Instrumental instruction
  • Music-assisted relaxation
  • Songwriting
Pet Therapy

One of the most beloved members of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital team is our four-legged co-worker, Freedom. Freedom is our pet therapy dog. You can request a visit by calling the BARK line, 954-265-2275 (BARK).

Yoga Therapy

Yoga can help children and adults find relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. We offer yoga classes at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for patients and their caregivers.

Instructors lead participants through mild stretching, mindfulness, meditation and deep breathing exercises. They also incorporate yoga games to help participants stay present and focused.

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