29 Aug Elizabeth Jativa Joins the StudentsCare Team
StudentsCare is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Jativa has joined StudentsCare as our Hospital Buddy Program Advisor. As a Child Life Specialist, who has worked in-house with our StudentsCare volunteers, her skills and experiences will further strengthen our Hospital Buddy Program nationally and assist in implementing new projects into a hospital setting.
Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Florida in 2011, with a Minor in Education. She also interned at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando (now called AdventHealth) and became certified as a Child Life Specialist in 2012.
Elizabeth has a long history with StudentsCare. As a Certified Child Life Specialist, she worked directly with our University of Miami StudentsCare Chapter at Holtz Children’s Hospital, overseeing and mentoring volunteers as they connected with patients on a weekly basis. Elizabeth was there when the UM StudentsCare Chapter began in 2015 with just a couple volunteers that wanted to make a difference. Within 5 years, StudentsCare had 18 active volunteers coming each week to serve patients all over the hospital. She oriented volunteers to the various units they would be visiting, creating a daily patient census for the volunteers to refer to, and helped connect patients and StudentsCare Buddies based on their shared interests, ages, and languages.
“I knew that StudentsCare would be filling a void that our patients at Holtz so desperately needed: a consistent and friendly presence that had nothing to do with why they were medically there- only to play and help them just be a kid! There is something uniquely special for a patient to have a buddy that seeks them out every week, that knows their interests, can share and relate to passions with them, and be something positive to look forward to every week amongst painful procedures and scary diagnoses,” said Elizabeth. “Many of our patients are at Holtz long-term and are inpatient frequently, and the need for support that far outstretches what I and our psychosocial team can fill on our own. There is power in play and normalcy, and StudentsCare volunteers are an amazing tool to create that type of environment for a hospitalized child.”
Elizabeth is passionate about what she does. “I sincerely love the Child Life Profession and its human touch to the medical industry. It ties in so many things I already loved (children, teaching, connecting with the local community, being hands-on) and opened doors for newly found passions as well, such as mentorship. I am truly passionate about the next generation and nurturing their growth- and this includes the volunteers that I’ve led in the hospital setting. I always strive to be the type of mentor that I needed when I was growing up: to be accepting, to instill joy and confidence, to be real and relatable, and to always be available for comfort and support. I’ve truly loved investing in my StudentsCare volunteers in those ways, and it has ALWAYS been returned to me tenfold when I watch them blossom and grow into their role. I am so proud of the students that have come through our University of Miami program, knowing full well that the lessons and experiences they’ve had with us have impacted their life!”
The mission of StudentsCare is to connect undergraduate healthcare students nationwide with hospitalized children, isolated seniors, and their families, to provide fun, friendship and support. We envision a world in which healthcare providers demonstrate empathy and kindness and hospitalized children and isolated seniors receive compassionate care.
We’re thrilled that Elizabeth joined the StudentsCare team. She will be an asset in strengthening our organization. Her unique background and experience with StudentsCare make her a perfect addition to help us out our mission.