Learn a bit more about the unique, creative individuals available to help patients and families.
Kelly Boyd, M.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Kelly M. Boyd, MS, CCLS graduated from the University of Georgia and received her bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Human Development and Family Science. She holds also holds a Master’s degree from Texas State University in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Child Life. Kelly completed her practicum and internship experiences at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital before beginning fulltime work on our Pediatric Medicine unit. Her professional focuses are working with children who have ADHD, Autism, and Asperger’s.
Leah T. Frohnerath, M.S., CCLS, CEIM Child Life Specialist
Leah T. Frohnerath, MS, CCLS is a Certified Child Life Specialist. She is a graduate of Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and received her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from University of St. Francis. Since completing her internship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1998 and starting her career at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Leah has provided Child Life Services across all diagnosis groups and in many areas. Leah joined Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in February of 2013. She is a co-coordinator for the Pet Therapy Program which boasts 25 dog teams and 1 miniature horse. Leah primarily provides Child Life Services to the Cancer and Blood Disorder In-patient unit. Her professional focus is on facilitating a collaborative relationship between the child and family and the medical team and empowering children through their medical journey.
Katie E. Grabowski, M.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Katie Grabowski, MS, CCLS has been with the child life department since 2013 and serves as an inpatient child life specialist. She spends much of her time in the neurosciences/surgical unit (7N), but also provides additional coverage to the inpatient team, particularly the general pediatrics unit. Katie has a Bachelor's degree in Social Science Education from the University of Central Florida as well as a master's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a specialization in Child Life from Illinois State University. Katie is an Item Writer on the Association of Child Life Professionals’ Child Life Certifying Committee and serves as a mentor in the field. She also has previous experience assisting in conference planning for the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals.
Katie Lierz, MS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
Kate holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University as well as a Master’s in Child Life from the University of La Verne. She completed her internship at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and then immediately transitioned to the Per Diem role at our facility.
Beth Phillips, M.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Beth Phillips holds a BA in sociology from Michigan State University as well as a Master’s of Science degree in Child Life from the University of La Verne in California. She has previous experience in the early childhood education as well as residential summer camping industries. Beth began at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital in 2012 and now works in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit. She has a passion for children’s programming and events. Additionally, Beth also serves on the conference planning committee for the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals and has been selected to present at an upcoming conference of the Association of Child Life Professionals.
Carol B. Dahlquist, B.A., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Carol B. Dahlquist, BA, CCLS began her career in the field of child life in 1997. She has a B.A. in Special Education from Florida Atlantic University and has previously taught in public schools in Florida and North Carolina. Throughout her career, Carol has served on the executive board of the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals and assisted with conference planning. She is the Child Life Volunteer Coordinator and works primarily in the outpatient setting in the Pre-Operational Unit.
Dara Jackson, B.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Dara Jackson, BS, CCLS is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital since September 2008. She has 15 + years in the field of Child Life. The majority of that has been working with the hematology/oncology population. She is the Child Life practicum coordinator and works primarily in the hematology/oncology clinic and infusion center. Dara is active on several committees with the Association of Child Life Professionals.
Renee Savic, B.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Renee Savic, BS, CCLS graduated from Florida State University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences. Before joining the staff at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2012, Renee worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa for 18 years where she was the child life coordinator. Renee has served as President of the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals and on various committees for the Association of Child Life Professionals. Renee will receive the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award for 2018. This award is presented to an individual child life specialist who has demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill.
Rayna Tanis, B.S., CCLS Child Life Specialist
Rayna is a child life specialist in the Emergency Center at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of Ball State University and received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Life and Family Studies in 2013. Rayna completed her child life internship at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and became certified in child life in March of 2014.
Alona Battaglio, B.A. Child Life Tech
Alona Battaglio, BA is a Connecticut native with a B.A. degree in psychology. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital team, Alona worked as an early childhood educator as well as a supportive counselor for the geriatric population. She considers her work with children to be her true passion and focuses her energy cofacilitating RJ’s Activity Center offering normative and special event experiences to children and their families. Alona is also the Child Life Volunteer Coordinator.
Nicole McCain, AS Child Life Tech
Nicole McCain, AS, joined the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital team in July 2015. She has 5+ years experience working in the early childhood educational environment in the role of an Assistant Director. She spends her days cofacilitating RJ’s Activity Center offering normative and special event experiences to children and their families. Nicole also is facilitator of the Pet Therapy program and has an AS in Heath Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Tasha Ellis Child Life Aid
Tasha Ellis is a Child Life Aide who focuses on patient safety through ensuring the sanitation of departmental toys and providing memorable play experiences in RJ’s Activity Center. She began her Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Career in the Environmental Services department in 1999 and after two years, transitioned to the Child Life Team.
Elijah Shannon Child Life Aid
Elijah Shannon is a Child Life Aide who focuses on keeping patients and families safe through sanitizing toys in the playrooms of our facility. He is a Florida native and has been working with the department since 2015.
Kelli Haley, BS, CCLS Child Life Specialist
Kelli is a Per Diem Child Life Specialist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Kelli graduated from Auburn University with a major in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Life and a minor in Psychology. She completed her internship at Children’s of Alabama and is devoted to aiding patients and their families cope successfully through hospitalization.
Catherine "Kat" Leibbrandt, B.A., B.S. CCLS Child Life Specialist
Kat Leibbrandt, BS, CCLS is a Certified Child Life Specialist currently in the Per Diem role as a member of the child life department at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa holding a degrees in Health Sciences and Health Communications. She completed her practicum at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, and her internship at Tampa General Hospital. Kat was the primary Specialist on the General Pediatric Unit for approximately 2 years prior to entering the role of Per Diem.