Child Life Corner

In Memoriam – Kristine K. Murray

Kristine K. Murray

By Patricia Scherrer, MD
SPS President

The Society for Pediatric Sedation has lost a valued colleague and treasured friend.  Kris Murray passed away on February 16, 2016, after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.

Kris was a truly inspirational person.  In her clinical work as a child life specialist, she was very much a driving force behind improving care for children who required frightening or painful procedures.  Kris worked as a certified child life specialist at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital for nearly 10 years, having volunteered in the child life department there even as a high school student.  She had been a child life specialist at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, for the last 10 years, where she was very involved with the pediatric sedation program. 

Kris joined the SPS in 2008, and she quickly became involved with establishing and leading the non-pharmacologic subcommittee of the nursing committee.  She also served on the provider course committee.  In 2010, Kris was elected to the Board of Directors, and she was re-elected to a second term in 2013.  She served as section editor for the Child Life Corner of this newsletter for the past three years.  As many of you know, Kris has been a frequent and valuable speaker at our SPS conferences and sedation provider courses for a number of years as well.  Her expertise and experience have championed the discipline of child life throughout the development of the society and have ensured that we focus not on procedures or diseases, but on children.

In recognition of her legacy of caring, the SPS has established the Kristine K. Murray Child Life Award.  This award will be presented annually in Kris’ name.  It will recognize an exceptional child life specialist who demonstrates exemplary care and clinical skill with children in a procedural sedation environment and who actively contributes to the field of pediatric sedation through multidisciplinary collaboration. 

The first annual award was presented to Kris herself earlier in February, though we will have a special recognition for her at our annual meeting in Hartford later this spring.  The award will also include a scholarship for annual conference registration and to assist with travel and lodging.  As part of the annual award, this scholarship will promote recognition of the importance of child life specialists and services in pediatric sedation care, and in the care of children in general, and will support the attendance at our annual conference of child life specialists who most closely model Kris’ expertise and devotion to children.

Kris was a treasured member of our group.  She leaves us with a tremendous legacy, as well as a tremendous void in our hearts.

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