Springfield, MO

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Young Up & Comers

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Age: 26

Marital status/family information: Single

Business philosophy: In working with pediatric patients and their families, Swyhart said her goal is to do whatever it takes to provide "the social and emotional support they need to normalize and make their hospital experience as comfortable as possible, and to act as an advocate for pediatric patients' needs."

A graduate of Southwest Missouri State University with a bachelor's degree in child and family development and an emphasis in child life, Swyhart is also a certified child-life specialist. Swyhart works "with pediatric patients on an age-appropriate level to provide an explanation of their hospitalization and what's happening to them" through play opportunities, education and special programs. A member of the Child Life Council and the Association for the Care of Children's Health, Swyhart is also a member of the Safe Kids Coalition, the SMSU advisory board for the child and family development department, and represents Cox's pediatrics department on a number of area committees. Swyhart said her greatest sense of pride and accomplishment comes from having the opportunity to "work in the child-life field, which is what I always wanted to do" and "constantly striving to improve the child life program here at Cox getting approval to hire more help, getting more financing to help our patients." And the best thing about her work? "I have the best job in the hospital ... to finally get (child patients) to smile and just do normal kid stuff, that's rewarding. That's why I come to work every day."

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