07:52 AM

Amy Rohyans Stewart joins Montana Children’s as child life coordinator

Amy Rohyans Stewart joined Montana Children’s in June as child life coordinator to initiate the new child life program—a specialized program to help pediatric patients and their families cope effectively with hospitalization. With more than 20 years of experience as a child life specialist at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, ID, Amy is excited to partner with KRH’s medical providers, nurses, staff and volunteers to create exceptional patient experiences.

Child life specialists are trained to understand the different ways children process their emotions in stressful situations. Using an approach rooted in child development, child life specialists provide age-appropriate therapeutic play, education and psychological preparation for procedures, focused sibling support and much more in order to reduce fear, anxiety and pain for children and families. The activities and interactions help patients and siblings better understand what is happening, as well as build rapport and trusting relationships with the child life specialist and medical staff.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Montana and a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. Originally from Helena, she was thrilled to return to her home state and experience the vibrant, small-town life of Flathead Valley. Amy moved to Kalispell with her husband of 17 years, Brian, and their two daughters, Vienna (11) and Annelise (6). The couple will soon have a third daughter, Annelise’s biological mother, Anaie (20). Amy and Brian adopted Annelise, who has Down syndrome, when she was six months old, but have always included Anaie as a significant part of her life and their family.

“In Idaho you can adopt adults,” Amy explains. “Anaie is married now with a family of her own, but she doesn’t have parents so we prosed the idea to her. My little sister also had Down syndrome and was adopted, and I learned from an early age this relationship between an adopted child and birth mom doesn’t have to be threatening, it can be something really beautiful for all of us. We’re just one big whacky family full of love.”

Amy and her family enjoy the outdoors and love to travel together. They are looking forward to being a part of the Kalispell community and getting involved with the Special Olympics here, as well.