Upopolis social network expands its team to increase support to Canada’s chronically ill & hospitalized youth

Kids’ Health Links Foundation is proud to announce and welcome certified child life specialists (CCLS) Krista Naugler and Jessica Miller to its flagship program, Upopolis, Canada’s only therapeutic social support network for kids and teens living with a chronic illness or long-term hospital experience.  

“We are very lucky to be adding TWO child life specialists to support Upopolis’ therapeutic programming,” says Basile Papaevangelou, KHLF Chair and Founder. “Both Krista and Jessica bring with them years of experience as health care professionals working directly with children, teens and families to alleviate anxiety during times of medical duress. We’re extremely excited to have them join Upopolis to help drive its therapeutic value for our Upopolis online community.” 

For the past 18 years, Naugler has worked at IWK Hospital in Halifax, NS as a certified child life specialist. Her clinical and programming experience is impressive and led her to found Camp Kedooopse at Brigadoon Village (http://www.brigadoonvillage.org/), a grief support camp for children and youth ages 8-17 years. Naugler joins Upopolis in the newly created position of Program Coordinator, where she will serve as the day-to-day familiar “face” and administrator of the platform, welcoming new youth and health care staff to the site, responding to their questions, and posting fresh content.  

Miller brings over 10 years of experience as a CCLS at Gilda's Club in Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, as well as experience as an online course instructor with McMaster University’s Child Life program since 2011. Miller joins Upopolis in the newly created position of Uknow Medical Content Coordinator. Uknow is the area where medical content is provided in an interactive and age appropriate format to help users better understand their diagnoses, procedures and experiences. Miller’s primary responsibility will be to review, update and analyze Uknow content so it is engaging and relevant.

 With the addition of these two new positions, Upopolis National Program Manager Allison Sohanlal  looks forward to working more closely with existing sites and identifying new Upopolis partners. 

“We are thrilled that Krista and Jessica are working with us. This is an exciting time for Upopolis as we target not only pediatric hospitals, but expand our reach to include community hospitals, clinics and support groups,” says Sohanlal. “I’m particularly looking forward to strengthening existing relationships and identifying new sites whose patients would benefit by having online access to Upopolis.”

                                                       Left: Krista Naugler, right: Jessica Miller

                                                      Left: Krista Naugler, right: Jessica Miller