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Ruth Kettner

Ruth Kettner Celebrates her 90th Birthday -with Child Life Education Endowment Fund

May 2, 2013

Ruth Kettner was one of the pioneers of Child Life, a profession that supports the emotional and psychological needs of children in the health care system. The role of Child Life is to help lessen the stress of hospitalization and to promote normal growth and development through assessment, intervention, advocacy and education.

Ruth earned her Diploma of Applied Arts in Early Childhood Education from the Manitoba Institute of Technology (now Red River College) in 1968, followed by a teacher’s certificate in Special Education from the Manitoba Department of Education. After holding the position as a play therapist at St. Boniface Hospital, she became director of the Child Life Department at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg.

Among her contributions, she facilitated the creation of CHTV, a closed-circuit television channel that entertains children in the hospital with age-appropriate programming.  And she introduced the use of medical  puppets to teach young patients about various medical procedures. Our mother is also credited with introducing numerous programs to the hospital over the years, including a school program to help well children learn about the hospital and orientation programs for children waiting for surgery.

In 1986 she was appointed assistant professor with the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Manitoba’s School of Medicine. There, she taught medical students the skills needed to communicate with hospitalized children and how to approach the issues of death and dying. In 1977, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for her work, and the YWCA Woman of the Year Award in 1978. In 2004 she was honoured with the Child Life Council Distinguished Service Award.

“We are proud of our mother’s contributions to the Children’s Hospital and the Child Life profession. Though she retired long ago, her legacy continues.”

To celebrate Ruth’s birthday, her family has put in place the Ruth Kettner Child Life Education Endowment Fund

Because Ruth has family, friends and colleagues around the world, we felt this was an appropriate way for everyone to celebrate. The Fund will provide professional development opportunities for the Child Life Department staff to attend seminars and conferences locally and world-wide. If you would like to join us by celebrating Ruth’s 90th this way, please choose the easiest method below: (No donation is too small!)

on-line: click on Donate/Donate Now/Designate your fund: scroll down to Ruth Kettner Child Life Fund

mail: Childrens Hospital Foundation E501-840 Sherbrook Street WPG. MB. R3A 1S1

telephone: Donna  204 787 4000 1-800 953 KIDS (5437)




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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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