Special Events

Children with chronic or life-threatening conditions sometimes miss or have to delay traditional childhood rituals, such as playing a team sport, slumber parties, learning to drive and participating in high school dances. The Child Life team at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital organizes special events in an effort to provide patients with experiences that they might not otherwise have due to treatment and hospitalization.

Doctors for a Day

During Doctors for a Day, doctors and nurses at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital hand over their white coats and stethoscopes to a group of very special caregivers – hospitalized kids. The patients reverse roles with caregivers and become “Doctors for a Day.” The young physicians treat pretend illnesses, fix broken bones and give shots with needle-less syringes.

The annual event celebrates National Child Life Month and gives kids a chance to have fun while learning more about medical procedures they may experience in the hospital. By allowing patients to play the part of the doctor, they may be less anxious about the procedures that will be performed on them at the hospital. 

Child Life Specialists use play, education and self-expression to help pediatric patients adjust to the hospital experience. From interactive story time to psychological preparation for surgery, and from holiday crafts to play with a special medical procedures doll, the Child Life team helps patients view their illnesses and hospital stay as secondary to enjoying the thrills of a normal childhood. 

Prom Night

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital also hosts a full-blown prom night for patients who were unable to attend their own prom due to hospitalization or who, due to chronic or life-threatening conditions, may never get the opportunity. The annual event is an all-day affair that includes selecting dresses and suits in the hospital’s special pop-up prom store, professional hair and wig styling, and pampering by makeup artists. And like all proms, the special evening will include a mix of music, dancing, refreshments, keepsake photos and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Children with chronic or life-threatening conditions sometimes miss or have to delay traditional childhood rituals, such as playing a team sport, slumber parties, learning to drive and participating in high school dances. The Child Life team at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital organizes special events, like prom, in an effort to provide patients with experiences that they might not otherwise have due to treatment and hospitalization. And because no child should have to miss prom because of an illness or injury, the event is not limited to just high school patients.

So, while we work every day to make sure our kids still feel like kids, events like the two below go a long way in providing a fun distraction in our patients’ lives.

View our 2017 prom photos.

View our 2016 prom photos.

Learn how to get involved with special events. 

Classes and Events