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March is Child Life month. Throughout the month, Delta has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) in recognizing the work that child life specialists do to help normalize the hospital experience by bringing joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families. In partnership with CMN, Delta created the "Delta Air Lines Child Life Specialist of the Year Award" to honor the hard work and compassion of these individuals while raising awareness of the need for funding at children's hospitals nationwide.

Greg Kennedy, S.V.P. – Airport Operations, Hubs, presented the inaugural award to Sarah Beth Gray, CCLS, II, Child Life Specialist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, on March 6. Gray was chosen from a select group of 28 child life specialists at CMN Hospitals from across the United States in recognition for her outstanding service and commitment to patients.

"Child life specialists are often the unsung heroes at children's hospitals. They help patients and families through the unique transition of receiving care. CMN received nominations from all over the country. I had the honor of personally being involved in the selection process and Sara Beth's application stood out. It is our privilege to honor Sara Beth as the first ever 'Child Life Specialist of the Year.'"

Delta presented Gray with two-round trip tickets anywhere Delta flies in the United States and a $15,000 check to the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt to further the work of the child life program.

Delta's support of CMN hospitals also includes the support of local child life programs in a variety of markets. Each year, Delta employees volunteer with child life programs by holding drives for toys or supplies and by hosting special parties and events for patients and families.

In 2018, Delta and CMN celebrated 20 years of partnership. Delta supports 15 CMN hospitals nationwide as part of its commitment to improve global health and wellness. For more information on the CMN partnership and how you can get involved, visit the Community Engagement page on Deltanet.