Sarah Jane Patterson
Associate Professor, Pediatrics

Sarah Patterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and the Curriculum Coordinator for the Master's of Science in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care Program in the Faculty of Health Sciences. This program is the first of its kind to provide Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial care education at a graduate level in Canada. Sarah is a full-time professor in this program. She played a critical role in the co-creation of the design and content from the inception and establishment of the only child life masters program across Canada. Prior to this position, Sarah held several different leadership roles (Co-Director, Curriculum Coordinator, Instructor) between 2003-2016 in the Child Life Studies post-baccalaureate diploma program and undergraduate courses at McMaster University.

Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at Carleton University and her graduate degree at Illinois State University in Child Life and Child Psychology. Sarah is currently working on her Doctor of Philosophy degree at Illinois State University in Leadership, Equity and Inquiry in Higher Education.

Sarah has practiced as a certified child life specialist for over 30 years, 26 years at Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto, Ontario in a number of clinical areas including Critical Care, Trauma, Respiratory Medicine, Complex Care, Endocrinology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, GIFT (Group for the Improvement of Intestinal Function and Treatment), Nephrology/Dialysis with her main clinical focus with the solid organ transplant program.

Sarah Is actively involved with the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), holding several committee leadership roles, currently serving as a President-Elect. Sarah has a passion for psychosocial care and emotional safety initiatives within simulation-based education. She lends her expertise to simulation faculty development workshops, with committees at INSPIRE (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research, & Education), and IPSS (International Pediatric Simulation Society). In the last two years, Sarah was elected to the IPSS Board of Directors as the first child life specialist to serve on the board and was invited to deliver the INSPIRE inaugural grand rounds in 2022 on unifying emotional and physical safety within simulation-based education. Sarah is faculty for the Weill-Cornell/Columbia University Medical Center annual Simulation Basecamp in New York City.

Internationally Sarah is also currently a subject matter expert consultant for Sick Kids International and has provided pediatric psychosocial training overseas in collaboration with the Association for Child Life Professionals. Within her career, Sarah has been involved in ongoing pediatric psychosocial training and education initiatives in Austria, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, South Africa, Ghana, Pakistan and Qatar.
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