Project Sunshine is a New York City headquartered organization that addresses the psychosocial and developmental needs of pediatric patients and their families. We serve patients ages 0-21 facing any medical challenge and take a family-centered approach to care, inviting caregivers and siblings to participate in all program activities. Project Sunshine was founded in a college dorm room by a student who motivated others to volunteer and fill a gap in care within the pediatric environment; for the past twenty years, this entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to bringing joy and connection into the hospital setting remain at the core of the organization.
Trained volunteers deliver in-hospital activities that normalize the hospital experience for young patients, provide support and resources to hospital staff, and offer volunteers a chance to give back to their communities. Our unique volunteer engagement model allows community groups, colleges, and corporations to create moments of connection with pediatric patients, caregivers, and families. It also steps beyond the formal healthcare system to provide adaptable, play-based programming that inspires child-centric and family-based behavioral change. By addressing individual behavior, the leading social determinant of health, Project Sunshine helps patients realize their own sense of agency.
Over 18,000 trained volunteers deliver programs that provide opportunities for creative expression, socialization, intellectual stimulation, and sensory integration to more than 150,000 pediatric patients and families. To carry out this impactful work, Project Sunshine partners with 325+ medical facilities across the U.S. and in four international locations: Canada, China, Israel, and Kenya.
The Director of Program Innovation will join a passionate and energetic team at a time of significant organizational growth. Reporting to the Executive Director he/she will serve as Project Sunshine’s lead Child Life expert and play a crucial role in developing programs for children and families facing a wide variety of medical challenges and manage relationships with Child Life specialists, pediatric nurses, doctors and administrators at medical facility partners. He/she will be an enthusiastic, highly-motivated, and creative leader and will work as a member of a fast-paced team of 12 on-site staff, and additional limited-term staff, senior interns and consultants, located at the organization’s headquarters in New York City.
Program Design and Evaluation
Design, implement, and evaluate programmatic engagements and interventions that are grounded in leading research and responsive to the current healthcare market place and trends.
Incorporate quality-assurance components into each programming engagement that includes intellectual stimulation, creative expression, socialization, and sensory integration appropriate for pediatric patients and their families.
Prototype and test new program ideas for both in-hospital and outside hospital volunteer program engagements.
Collaborate with Director of International Programs and the leadership of Canada, Kenya, China and Israel on program innovation for their communities.
Identify and partner with external consultants and researchers as needed to collect data and deepen knowledge on hospital trends and needs to provide programs and services that are reflective and relevant to the diverse population of patients.
Ensure all programmatic initiatives are aligned with Project Sunshine’s mission.
Create and implement an evaluation process, completed by patients and families, on Project Sunshine programs.
Deepen relationships with key personnel with Project Sunshine medical facility partners across the United States and four international locations.
Raise organizational profile within the pediatric and Child Life communities.
Maintain connection to and knowledge of trends facing pediatric populations and national health issues.
Recruit additional medical facility partners.
Develop and present at relevant national and international conferences.
Assemble and manage a best-in-class Healthcare Advisory Committee to inform best practices and advise on Projects Sunshine’s programming.
Develop and manage a Program Committee of the Project Sunshine Board of Directors.
Manage Director, International Programs
Recruit and hire Coordinator, Programs
10 years + hospital-based Child Life work, with management experience, required.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Knowledge of Child Life program development and research.
Integrity, a positive attitude and self-directed and entrepreneurial work style.
Passion for Project Sunshine’s mission, familiarity with the organization is a plus.
Bachelor’s degree required and Child Life certification preferred.
Ability to understand individual, institutional, and cultural nuances.
Ability to travel domestically, work evenings and weekends as needed.
Valid driver's license required
About Project Sunshine
Project Sunshine recruits and trains volunteers – community members, college students, corporations, and youth – to deliver activities. Our programs promote creative expression, socialization, and learning. Most of all, they let young patients act and feel like kids or teens during emotionally and physically challenging times.