Meet the Team

Katie Nees, MSHS, CCLS

Director & Board Member

Katie has a Master’s degree in End-of-Life Care from George Washington University and has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2002.  She has worked at various hospitals and has developed programs such as the “Difficult News Guidelines” for a radiology department and “Psychosocial Disaster Plan” for an emergency department.  Both involve a multidisciplinary team approach to providing compassionate and effective care for families during high stress situations.  She currently works in the Emergency Department at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and is also a Professional Consultant, Trainer, and Project Manager with Children’s Disaster Services.

Lindsey Murphy, M.Ed, CCLS, CTP

Associate Director & Board Member

Lindsey has worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2009, and brings to us experience from a Level 1 Trauma Emergency Department and an outpatient setting working with children with developmental and behavioral diagnoses at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  She  is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at University of Missouri-Columbia in Human Development and Family Science focusing on child life, trauma’s impact on child/family development, and psychosocial interventions effective in promoting growth and development post-trauma. Her training and certification through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children provides her with a breadth of knowledge easily applied to children and disasters.  As a “Life is Good Playmaker” she radiates the spirit of optimism to those suffering from trauma.

Gail Klayman, M.ED, CCLS

Board Member

Gail retired after a forty year career at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center shortly after receiving  the Child Life Council’s Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award in 2012.   Gail is a visionary in Child Life. She initiated programs in the NICU, Hospice, and the Developmental Disability Division.  She started the Adaptive Care Team which has transformed the way healthcare is delivered to patients with autism and other developmental disabilities. Her training and work in the PICU and Hospice strengthened her skills with children and families experiencing trauma and crisis. She also co-authored and researched the PRAP – the first psychosocial assessment tool in the profession. She has made numerous presentations globally to share her practice developments to improve healthcare delivery for children and families.

Caralyn Perlee, MS, CCLS

Director of International Relations

Caralyn Perlee is a certified child life specialist currently living in Ireland and working for Barretstown, an affiliate of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, a global community providing camps and programs to seriously ill children and their families. Caralyn practiced Child Life in the hospital setting at NYU Langone Medical Center for six years, working in general pediatrics, pediatric intensive care, the emergency department, and hematology/oncology.  She is the co-founder of the Youth Advisory Council at NYULMC, helping to empower young patients to lead and communicate in order to bring their critical voices to the forefront of hospital operations and healthcare design. Caralyn is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a Bachelor’s in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and of Bank Street College of Education with a Master’s in Child Life.


Erin Silber, CTRS, CCLS

Board Member

Erin Silber is a dually certified as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Certified Child Life Specialist.  For the last 8 years she has been working as a CCLS, first at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in the Child Protection Center working with children who have been physically and sexually abused and then at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, FL, on the GI-Medical/Surgical unit.  Erin recently began her new career venture as the Activities Director at Presence Health Resurrection Life Center in Chicago, IL.  Erin has been a volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services since April 2015, was the Tampa Bay area CDS representative and worked closely with Tampa Bay local Red Cross.


Betsy Andersen
Marketing Design Specialist

Patrick Murphy
Web Administrator