Hospital Programs

Each week, CHAP’s teaching artists lead over fifty hours of art adventures for children and their families in medical centers.

CHAP was founded in 2006 by a visionary artist, Frank Etxaniz, partnering with a visionary philanthropist, Charlie Swindells.

In the beginning, Frank visited individual children at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s 10 South unit, which is in-patient hematology & oncology. He went from room to room with a suitcase full of art supplies and his own boundless imagination.

  • Over the past decade the program has grown to include nearly 50 hours per week of services on the OHSU campus, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Providence St. Vincent Medical Group provided by five teaching artists and specially trained CHAP volunteers.
  • We serve inpatient children and families on Doernbecher 9 and 10 South.
  • We serve outpatient families waiting for news from the pediatric surgical suites on Doernbecher’s 8th floor.
  • We serve children waiting for appointments in the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center and the Pediatric Neurosurgery outpatient clinic.
  • We provide healing art experiences at Shriners Hospital’s halo unit.
  • We recently began support creative art-making in the waiting room of St. Vincent’s Pediatric Specialty Care Unit.

Because so much of our work takes place at OHSU, our geographic reach mirrors theirs. We serve children from across Oregon and SW Washington as well as northern California, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Our agreement with OHSU is that they will fund half of our costs and CHAP will fundraise to cover the other half. The children and families we serve are never charged.

CHAP’s in-hospital art programs are 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. We have developed a repertoire of art projects using materials approved by the hospital for kids and teens who are immune-suppressed. With the medical team’s partnership, we create a space where kids can get messy – even in a sterile setting.

Children’s Healing Arts Project’s in-hospital programs feature a variety of art supplies and projects designed to spark each child’s imagination.

Whether it’s a beading project, animation, puppet-making, collage, or simply drawing with a black marker on a sketch pad, CHAP works to make sure each child finds his or her own voice through the artistic process.