Hospital Programs

Each week, CHAP’s teaching artists lead nearly 50 hours of healing art adventures for children and families in hospitals and medical centers.

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 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 projects designed to spark any imagination.

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

CHAP programs have grown to 13 locations across the OHSU campus, Shriners Hospital for Children, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Salem Health, and the newest location – OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center in Eugene.

CHAP serves:

  • Hospitalized children and their families on Doernbecher 9 and 10 South.
  • Families waiting for news of their loved ones in the pediatric surgical units on Doernbecher’s 8th floor.
  • Children before and after their appointments in the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center and the Pediatric Neurosurgery Outpatient Clinic.
  • Young adults and children at the Knight Cancer Institute’s Kohler Pavillion.
  • Parents, siblings, and children at Shriners Hospital’s halo unit.
  • Children and families in the waiting room of St. Vincent’s Pediatric Specialty Care Unit.

For the first time in CHAP’s history, art services are now also available outside the Portland-metro area at Salem Health’s Pediatrics, NICU, and Mother/Baby units as well a OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) in Eugene.

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 together.