Debby and Ken Novack
Watch the video of CPMC's Novack Family Child Life Services, now caring for more children and families than ever before, thanks to Ken and Debby Novack's visionary philanthropic investment.
Comforting Care for Children
Having three grandchildren with health issues that required hospitalization, Ken and Debby Novack know all too well how stressful it can be to see a little loved one in need of serious medical attention. Because of this, they had been looking to make a major investment in a program that provides comforting care to kids here in San Francisco. They recently found what they were looking for in the newly named Novack Family Child Life Services at Sutter Health CPMC.
Caring for children and families in CPMC hospitals, emergency departments, and outpatient clinics, Child Life Specialists use toys, games and dolls to ease anxieties and explain medical treatments in terms kids can understand. They also accompany children to procedures, teach them pain management skills, help hospitalized kids with their schoolwork, and much more.
“Providing quality care for children goes far beyond their physical needs,” says Debby. “You have to address their psychological and emotional needs, too. So when I see the effect these Child Life Specialists have on kids, it just puts a smile on my face.”
“We know from our own experience there is nothing more traumatic for a child than being hospitalized,” adds Ken. “So we want to do everything we can to help local children and their families feel more secure and more comfortable when they are in the same situation, and Child Life Services does an outstanding job of that.”
The Novacks’ philanthropic investment will significantly expand Child Life Services at CPMC, which is already handling nearly 30,000 patient encounters a year. “It’s not often that you can make an impact this big,” says Ken.
—Debby and Ken Novack