Advisory Council Members
Khatuna Dolidze, PhD, MS, CCLS
Psychologist, Certified Child Life Specialist
Cofounder, Executive Director, GACCH Foundation for Hospitalized Children
Republic of Georgia
Driving home from the clinic at the end of each day to rejoin her daughter, son and husband, Khatuna Dolidze thinks of the words of Astrid Lindgren, “If I have brightened up even one gloomy childhood- then I am satisfied”.
Mrs. Dolidze grew up in a big family in Georgia, an ancient Christian country rich with folklore, music, theatre, art and wine traditions. A highly independent infant, her family recalls her tirelessly running around the handmade baby walker invented by her grandfather. As a pioneer in the psychosocial care of hospitalized children in Georgia, some might say, “she hasn’t stopped running!”
After graduating as a psychologist from Tbilisi State University, Mrs. Dolidze created the Baltic region’s first art therapy project designed to assess and support hospitalized children.
Based on her experience and passion for working with children in medical settings, the president of JoAnn Medical Center JAMC hired Mrs. Dolidze to provide stress minimizing interventions for their pediatric patients and their families. Mrs. Dolidze began building a pediatric psychosocial support program, previously unknown to Georgian health care. She discovered and became an expert on child life practices; creating a comprehensive support program blending psychology, child life and art therapy modalities. Mrs. Dolidze completed her internship at Cook Children’s Hospital in the USA and is a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Mrs. Dolidze has established an NGO to train psychologists and introduce services in more hospitals in Georgia including her pilot project at the Onco-hematology department at M. Iashvili Children’s Central Hospital in Tbilisi. She also established a practicum training program between JAMC and Ilia State University where students eagerly joined her child life advocacy efforts.
The belief that she has both much to share and much to learn motivates Mrs. Dolidze to commit time to Standish Foundation. And so, she keeps on running…