Gunning, CCLS

Annie became a Certified Child Life Specialist in the year 2000. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she completed her formal training at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, which laid the foundation for her career. Over the past two decades, Annie has worked across a spectrum of medical settings, including Rehabilitation, Pediatric Emergency Department, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Intensive Care, Hematology/Oncology, General Pediatric Surgery Unit, Radiology, and Adult ICUs—supporting children of adult patients. Annie earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri. Over the course of her career, Annie has discovered a particular passion for supporting families through the grief and healing journey. She retains certification as a Grief Counselor, demonstrating her dedication to this vital aspect of her work. Annie is a facilitator at KinderMourn, a local grief organization. She contributes to the Helping The Hurt school outreach program and leads weekly support groups. Annie collaborates with local organizations to deliver presentations that benefit the community she resides in and international organizations such as The Standish Foundation. In addition, Annie is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, showcasing her commitment to holistic support for families.

Annie has embraced Charlotte, North Carolina, as her home since 2008. She balances her professional commitments with family life, toggling between the mountains and beach with her two children, husband, and golden retriever, Mack.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

- Fred Rogers

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