Kent Memorial Library will next present a program, “Parents as Heroes, Supporting Children through Medical Encounters,” April 7 at 2 p.m.

The discussion at the Main Street library will focus on treating hospitalized children with respect and support while dealing with illnesses.

The program will include tips on how to prepare children and lessen their anxiety for medical procedures

Deborah Vilas, a faculty advisor and instructor in the Child Life Program at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where she coaches graduate students in how to provide meaningful and therapeutic play experiences for hospitalized children, will lead the program.

Vilas has worked with children and families as a child life specialist, preschool teacher and social worker.

An author, blogger and international public speaker, she has presented and taught in New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, Australia, the Philippines and Japan.

In 2016, she participated in a panel presentation about child life and technology at the United Nations.

In 2014, Deborah represented her profession and her country as a keynote speaker at the first global summit on pediatric psychosocial care in hospitals, addressing delegates from 46 countries on the importance of play for sick and injured children.

The lecture is the second of a six-part health series presented by Prism Health Advocates of Kent.

The next topic in this series is “Creating Communities Free of Domestic Violence: A Key to Women’s Health and Equality,” presented by Dr. D. Elizabeth “Betsey” Mauro, executive director of Women’s Support Services in Sharon, June 16 at 2:30 p.m.

For more information and RSVP to the programs, call 860-927-3761.