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Child Life Specialist

Our Child Life Specialist works with children to help them feel comfortable, to understand what will happen during a procedure and to learn what to expect during their hospital stay.

The Child Life Specialist offers both children and families a way to cope with the stresses of their healthcare experience using a variety of methods such as:

  • Medical play
  • Play therapy
  • Pre-procedural teaching
  • Social interaction
  • Distraction techniques
  • Support during medical procedures

The Child Life Specialist also coordinates group activities for children and families staying in the Pediatric Unit. Some of these activities include visits from the Jackson General’s baseball players, movie nights, and pet therapy. These events and activities can take the child’s focus away from their present environment and allow them to simply be a child again.

In addition to special events, the Child Life Specialist maintains a playroom for children full of toys, games, and videos. For those children who may not be able to leave their rooms, toys, video games, and movies may be checked out and taken to their rooms.


Little General

Little General is the mascot for Ayers Children’s Medical Center. He wants to help children by promoting healthy living and good choices.

Get to Know Little General

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Job: Safety and Health Advocate
  • Hero: Therapy Dogs
  • Best Friends: The children at Ayers
  • Favorite Food: Carrots
  • Favorite Place: Ayers and the Park
  • Favorite Song: Who Let the Dogs Out
  • Favorite Movie: Air Bud and Snow Buddies
  • Favorite TV Show: America’s Cutest Dog
  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Favorite Sport: Track and playing “catch”

Coloring Sheets

Donate a Little General


Pet Therapy

One of the best programs offered by child life services is our pet therapy program. The program originally started with a gentle Newfoundland, Maggie. Maggie and her trainer, Kay Jackson, started by visiting the pediatric units at least twice a month. The program has now grown to visits from seven different therapy dogs in the community. Pet therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase relaxation, socialization, and motivation among patients of all ages. All of our therapy dogs are trained and registered through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Keep your eyes open because many of our therapy dogs serve in West Tennessee Healthcare events and other events around our community!

Kay Jackson & Maggie (Newfoundland )
JoLene Lee & Majik (Golden Retriever)
Cathi Roberts & Agnes (West Highland Terrier/Mix)
Ann Ramsey & Dax (Border Collie)
Rosemary McLaughlin & Chloe (Standard Poodle)
Jackie Wood & Clancey (Cairn Terrier)
Jack Wood & Traveler (Cairn Terrier)

Visit Maggie & Friends

Learn about Therapy Dogs


NONDISCRIMINATION NOTICE STATEMENT
West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.