Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders (CACLL) - Association Canadienne des Responsables de Services Éducatifs en Mileu Pédiatrique (ACRSEMP) Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders (CACLL) - Association Canadienne des Responsables de Services Éducatifs en Mileu Pédiatrique (ACRSEMP)
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Special Feature

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ACLP Distinguished Service Award - 2018
Joan Turner, Ph.D., CCLS

Since 1988, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) has honored the child life profession’s outstanding leaders and pioneers with the annual Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the ACLP Board of Directors, recognizing exceptional members for outstanding contributions to the field of child life.

Joan Turner is an Associate Professor of Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Prominent contributions to the profession include The Pips of Child Life: Early Play Programs in Hospitals (2014) and The Pips of Child Life: The Middle Years of Play Programs in Hospitals (2016) both co-edited with Civita Brown of Utica College, New York. Subsequent to entering the field as a novice child life specialist with Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre (1987-1998), Joan completed a doctorate degree (2002) supported by the Eleanor Blumenthal Fellowship at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Fellowship was established to support the child life major in the department of Human Development and Family Studies and the child life program at the university hospital.

Grounded in both practice and academic perspectives, Joan fortified her passion for all things child life through teaching, research, writing and the Association for Child Life Professionals committees.  Varied contributions to the child life profession have been substantial and include Associate and Executive Editor of the Child Life Focus/Bulletin (2006-2008/2010), Child Life Focus Review Board (2010-2015), Member and Chair of the Child Life Archives Management Group (2010–2017/2018), Chair: Task Force on Scholarship and Research (2010-2011) and member of the Evidence-Based Practice Committee (2005-2007). She supervises both undergraduate honors and graduate thesis research at Mount Saint Vincent University where students often explore topics closely related to child life interests. Academic and community work extend her professional engagement into early childhood, early intervention and related child and youth topics in Nova Scotia. Joan is particularly proud of establishing the Child Life Alphabet column in the Child Life Bulletin (2008) which continues today as the Child Life Alphabet 2.0. She is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters and often presents at the child life and related conferences.