Mighty Blog

How wrap-around care services help kids and families healing from cancer diagnoses

At Children’s Minnesota, we put kids first, and we know that kids get better quicker when we take care of the whole family. This is why we offer many services and amenities to the whole family in addition to typical health care services. We call these additional services wrap-around care services.

A cancer diagnosis can make a child’s shine fade. They’re scared, unsure of what lies ahead and they use their energy for the most important thing of all – healing. This fall, our community will Shine Bright for Cancer Kids to support kids battling cancer at Children’s Minnesota.

Joy Johnson-Lind, senior director of child and family services, shared more about our wrap-around care during a WCCO Mid-Morning Show segment:

Child Life

Child life professionals are an important part of the multidisciplinary care teams at Children’s. They are trained in child development and help children understand their medical care. They minimize stress through medical play, relaxation, mental imagery, and special events and activities. Additionally, child life professionals partner with the whole family, including siblings, to foster a positive and supportive care experience.

Great Clips Sibling Play Area

The Sibling Play Area is a creative space designed for the brothers and sisters of our patients at our Minneapolis campus. The staff in the Sibling Play Area works closely with child life specialists, the Family Resource Center, and volunteers to create a supportive environment where children feel welcome to play.  We have a wide selection of toys, games, music, books and crafts for all ages.

The Child Life Zone

Built through support from Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, this state-of-the-art environment at our St. Paul campus provides children and teens a place to connect with others and explore healing therapies while doing what they love. Patients and their families come here to play, laugh, learn and relax.

Star Studio

Star Studio is the in-house TV station at Children’s Minnesota. Their mission is to provide patients and families an alternative to mainstream commercial broadcasting.

Watch them live!

Music therapy

It’s no secret that music can be uplifting and relaxing in any situation. A growing amount of evidence suggests that the power of music can also have significant benefits to patients and their families in clinical settings. Children’s board-certified music therapists serve patients ranging from newborns to young adults at various levels of engagement and responsiveness. Patients at any developmental age or developmental level can participate!

Pets Assisting with Healing (PAWH)

Pets Assisting with Healing (PAWH) is a volunteer service available at both our Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Therapy dogs and other animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs visit patient rooms. Dog teams also visit our St. Paul surgery areas, emergency departments and some outpatient areas. This program brightens the day for many patients, families and staff, and helps to normalize the hospital environment for kids. It also supports human-animal bonds, encourages conversation and interaction.

The team at Children’s cares for nearly 1,000 kids every year fighting cancer, more than any other hospital in the state. We care for their parents and siblings, too. Because a cancer diagnosis can be devastating to the entire family. Join us in supporting families battling cancer by participating in Shine Bright for Cancer Kids.


Give to support the most amazing people on earth.


We work with children and adolescents to minimize the stress children can feel during hospital stays and other health care visits.