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Some of you may already know this but Friday, July 29th will be my last day working here at Saratoga Health & Wellness as I head off to Boston to pursue a graduate degree. Having said that, I wanted to use this week’s blog post to extend a farewell and thank you to our members.

I will be attending Wheelock College in the fall to start a two-year program to obtain and Master’s Degree in Child Life in order to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a Child Life Specialist does, I’ll give you the short version: a child life specialist works in healthcare settings (most typically a hospital) to help children cope with the challenges of hospitalization. Their duties range from procedure preparation to normalization of the hospital environment to bereavement and memory making, as well as several other areas. I have spent the past year volunteering at the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center and just recently completed a Child Life Practicum program there as well to explore the field more in-depth and I am confident that this is what I want to spend my life doing. Thank you to those of you who have extended words of advice, support, and encouragement as I navigated the grad school application and admissions process. Your kind and helping words meant more than you know. I am very excited for this opportunity and am happy to be pursuing a career that I love.

With all of that being said, I am very sad to be leaving Saratoga Health & Wellness. I began my journey here the summer before my senior year of college when Mike and Nick welcomed me in to shadow them for a few weeks to complete fieldwork for my degree program. I had nothing but positive feelings after my fieldwork and was thrilled when they welcomed me back again that following summer to do my internship to complete my undergraduate degree in exercise science. After I officially received my degree last August, I was taken on as part of the team and have happily been here ever since.

My experience at Saratoga Health & Wellness has never been anything but positive. I have met so many wonderful people while working here and everyone I have encountered has had an impact on my life in ways you may never know. I quickly felt like part of the family here and always enjoyed coming to work. I certainly will not forget my time here or the wonderful people I have met and I can assure you that I will be back to visit when life brings me back to the area.

As I leave, please know that I am leaving filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work here at SHW and get to know all of you. I cannot thank you all enough for welcoming me with open arms and always making work enjoyable. I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn from all of you and to help share some of my knowledge with you as well. Thank you for allowing me to do so. I will greatly miss my time here at SHW. Lastly, I would like to see as many of you as possible before I leave, so if you have the time to stop in before July 29th, please do so, it would mean a lot!

Thank you again and best wishes to all of you,

Katie Deitz