Hospital Programs

CHAP is slowly beginning to return to in-hospital programs and a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week, our teaching artists visit 3 different floors of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, holding space for children and families to be creative and delivering art supplies to children’s bedsides. Prior to the pandemic, CHAP teaching artists facilitated over 50 hours of healing art adventures for children and families in hospitals and medical centers throughout the Portland-metro area every week. CHAP expects to return to at least that level in 2023.

CHAP was founded in 2006 by visionary artist, Frank Etxaniz, and dedicated philanthropist, Charlie Swindells.

Frank recognized the need for children and families at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to experience the incredible healing power of art. With a suitcase full of art supplies, he started visiting the hospital weekly to ensure that children and families could express their personal creativity during some of the most stressful times of their lives.

Since then, CHAP has brought the healing power of art to tens of thousands of children in hospitals throughout the Portland-metro area. At CHAP, children are known for their creativity and ingenuity – never by their disease, diagnosis, or disability. In every healing art interaction, CHAP brings an array of materials designed to spark any imagination.

We bring creative, messy fun into places that are sterile by necessity.

CHAP programs have grown to 15 locations across the OHSU campus, Shriners Hospital for Children, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, and more.

Because our partner facilities attract both local patients and those from outside the Portland area, CHAP serves children from across Oregon, SW Washington, Northern California, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and beyond.

The children and families we serve are never charged. Our in-hospital healing art programs are funded through contributions from our partnering medical facilities, as well as donations from caring individuals, grants, and Foundations.

Every CHAP art interaction is tailored to the needs, wishes, and abilities of each child, bringing them out of isolation and infusing their lives with choice, purpose, and self-expression. Our teaching artists have developed a wide variety of creative art projects using hospital-approved materials for kids and teens who are immune-suppressed. Adaptive brushes and other tools are incorporated for those with dexterity issues. If a child is in isolation or not well enough to leave their hospital bed, CHAP artists deliver art supplies to their room to enjoy art-making wit their families and friends.