Kids in Care at The Floating Hospital & TUSM Student Allies (KICKS!)

Who We Are: KICKS! is a group of student volunteers at Tufts University School of Medicine committed to making the hospital a friendlier, more inviting place for children.

What We Do: Since 1988, KICKS! has partnered students with patients and their families at the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology clinic for one-on-one mentoring relationships. When a child is in the hospital we are their sidekick! During regular clinic visits and in-patient stays, TUSM students act as strong allies, providing comfort, familiarity, and fun. We do not participate in a medical capacity; instead, we are a friendly face at the hospital, here to support each child in our program. Additionally, we participate in events organized through the hospital (e.g., Trick-or-Treating at the Floating Hospital, the Hematology/Oncology Holiday Party) and host lunch talks at the medical school. Through KICKS, medical students with an interest in pediatric care gain a deeper understanding of the pediatric patient experience.

Who Joins KICKS!: All kids (ages 3-21) in treatment at The Floating Hospital are eligible to join. The nature of the mentor relationship varies with the age, personality, and needs of each child. For older children, TUSM students offer peer support, and for the younger ones, students serve as a friend and playmate throughout treatment."

Sally and Me

Sally (left) and Meredith Posner, TUSM medical student

“It is all too easy to be consumed by the academic rigors of medical school, requiring us to look at health care in abstract terms,” says Meredith Posner, M12. “But there was nothing abstract about this little girl, or the way she faced her cancer.”

"Our relationship began with leukemia, and even though I am in medical school, my only task is to be her friend."

Read Meredith's story »