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Meet the Mary Poppins of Philadelphia: Ashleigh Schopen

March is Child Life Month, a month where hospitals celebrate child life specialists and the Child Life profession through education and awareness of their work. To honor these dedicated professionals during the month of March, CMN Hospitals will highlight the top 10 nominees submitted for the 2020 Delta Child Life Specialist of the Year award.

Ashleigh Schopen’s co-workers like to think of her as the Mary Poppins of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

In her role as a Child Life Specialist, Ashleigh seems to effortlessly calm children and their families. They immediately trust her and welcome her as part of their hospital journey. But, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. 

As a brand new staff member, Ashleigh juggled a general pediatric inpatient floor alongside the children in the ICU. She worked hard to provide personalized care to each patient, and soon, she earned the trust of her patients and the staff. 

Ashleigh’s passion for her work is easy to see. She is always up to date on the latest research behind the most effective protocols and strategies, and she is able to communicate difficult topics to families in a way that they can easily understand. 

Ashleigh is known for her open honesty and compassion. She isn’t afraid to advocate for her patients. 

In a recent incident, one of Ashleigh’s young patients underwent surgery. His parents had told him he was going in for a routine check up, but he coded during surgery and was admitted to the ICU. The family was afraid to tell him anything about what had happened.

Ashleigh carefully and intentionally educated the parents about how lying to their child would damage their relationship. She helped them figure out how to explain the situation to their child and was with them through every step of the process. 

As the patient continued care in the ICU and was in the hospital for several months, Ashleigh was a rock for him and his family. By the end of the young man’s stay in the hospital, he and his family had all learned valuable skills for coping with their challenges. 

Everyone who meets Ashleigh quickly grows to respect her because they see the powerful changes that her interventions provide to patients and families. 

Ashleigh Schopen is from Maine and loves lobster. She’s also a huge New England Patriots fan. When she isn’t at the hospital, you’ll find Ashleigh spending time with her two children. 


Child Life Specialists help normalize the hospital experience and bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families. Many of the funds raised by CMN Hospitals are used to fund Child Life programs and help make up the gap between what government and insurance pay for and the actual cost of caring for kids in our member hospitals.