Vicky Hopley, Certified Child Life Specialist, Honored for Providing Outstanding Compassionate Care at Emerson Hospital

Vicky Hopley

At Emerson Hospital’s annual Compassionate Caregiver Award event held recently, Vicky Hopley, MS, Certified Child Life Specialist on the Pediatric Intervention Team, was honored for her devotion to Emerson’s young patients and for consistently providing compassionate care to families. Nominated by her colleagues, Vicky was chosen as the recipient of this year’s Terry Croteau Compassionate Care Award, the highest honor for patient care at Emerson.
Vicky's role on the Pediatric Intervention Team at Emerson is to provide for the emotional well-being of pediatric patients and their family members while encountering the hospital experience. Young patients are warmly greeted and supported by Vicky in the Emergency Department, surgical and pediatric in-patient areas, as well as during diagnostic testing such as blood tests, MRI's, CT scans and ultrasounds. Vicky listens to the concerns and fears of pediatric patients and their care-givers and plans coping strategies that will give children opportunities to master their hospital experience while fostering optimum growth and development.
Described by colleagues as having, “an inherent capacity and desire to do right by children, Vicky’s energy, warmth, compassion, patience, creativity, flexibility and can-do attitude are remarkable. She is an angel among us.” A resident of Bolton, Vicky has worked on the Pediatric Intervention Team at Emerson since 2007.
In her role as a child life specialist, Vicky offers Coping Kits to pediatric patients. A renowned part of the pediatric experience at Emerson, the Coping Kits are filled with therapeutic toys that become important tools for managing during a child's hospital encounter. For example, bubbles help young children breathe deeply and become more relaxed and distracted in a soothing way. Pop-tubes and note pads help children communicate and express their emotions. The Pediatric Intervention Team uses these Coping Kits as an essential way to connect with children and help them succeed with difficult medical procedures.
"I consider each interaction with children and families as a privileged moment when children and families are most vulnerable and in the greatest need for comfort and support,” explains Vicky. “I am honored to be the award recipient and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Pediatric Intervention Team at Emerson."
“Vicky is an extraordinarily special caregiver who exemplifies the true meaning of providing compassionate care to our youngest patients,” said Christine Schuster, RN, MBA, President and CEO at Emerson Hospital. “She puts patients and families at the center of her work each day. We are honored to have her as a member of our Emerson team.”
Emerson Hospital's annual Compassionate Caregiver Award was established in 2004 and recognizes compassionate care as exemplified by the late Terry Croteau, a social worker at Emerson who made an exceptional difference in the lives of her patients and co-workers. All hospital employees, medical staff and volunteers involved in caring for patients and their families are eligible to receive the coveted award.

The concept for the award grew out of Emerson’s involvement in the Boston-based The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. The Terry Croteau Compassionate Caregiver Award is sponsored by Emerson’s Schwartz Rounds Committee, which recognizes and supports those who provide exceptional patient care in their daily practice, and the Berry Supporting Foundation. Members of the Emerson community, Vicky’s family members and some families she has cared for were in the audience when she received the award.

Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford and urgent care centers in Hudson and Littleton. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit