In early May, Kongmeng Sialee, the first and only Child Life Therapist at LFHC, was awarded one of five international scholarships by the Association of Child Life Professionals.
In granting the award, the ACLP noted that Kongmeng has successfully integrated psychosocial care into the operations of LFHC. He helps children cope during their hospital stay and prepares children for medical procedures by using therapeutic and medical play.
The award ceremony took place at the organization’s annual conference in Washington D.C. Kongmeng was joined by Friends Without A Border Executive Director Nicole Pagourgis at the conference.
“It was amazing,” Kongmeng said about the award and his first visit to the United States.
The Child Life Annual Conference is the world’s largest gathering of child life professionals and a unique opportunity to learn about the latest research, share and learn child-life techniques and meet new child life therapists from around the world. Kongmeng shared the techniques he uses at LFHC to conference attendees and said he is very interested in applying new techniques he learned at the conference at LFHC, such as creating a “patient experience booklet.”
While in Washington, Kongmeng also visited a pediatric hospital to meet their child life team, visited national landmarks and sampled American food! He said he made new friends and will continue to be in touch with them.
LFHC would like to extend its thanks to Justin Petakus, former child life volunteer at the hospital, who encouraged Kongmeng to apply for the scholarship. Justin also flew into Washington to congratulate Kongmeng.