Child Life and Education
History of Child Life at MetroHealth
In 1955, Emma N. Plank (1905-1990) established the nation’s first university-affiliated Child Life and Education program at MetroHealth Medical Center, then called City Hospital of Cleveland.
Ms. Plank was an assistant professor of child development in the Department of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her 1962 book, Working with Children in Hospitals, continues to inform Child Life professionals at MetroHealth and throughout the world.
The Tree House: A Legacy of Caring
Opened in 1995, The Michael J. Bohdan Tree House is named for a man who deeply understood the value of respite, play, and discovery to hospitalized children and their families. Mr. Bohdan (1951-1990) was an active member of the Leprechaun Foundation, which anonymously grants terminally and chronically ill children their “greatest individual dream or desire.” The Leprechaun Foundation and the BP Foundation led the efforts to open the Tree House.