Skip Navigation
MUSC mobile menu

Painting with purpose at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital

Kids and their families use art to say thanks

Ellis and Riley Kammauf
Ellis and Riley Kammauf, born prematurely at MUSC Children's Hospital in 2013, have fun with the paint they'll use to put their handprints on picnic tables for the construction team.
Kathy Cosgrove | | Aug. 14, 2017

Patients, families and members of the MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council gathered outside the construction site of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion to paint the tops of picnic tables for construction workers of the new facility.

Kenya and Antwan Haskell

Kenya and Antwan Haskell get ready for some ice cream.

The picnic area provides a welcome respite for workers under the shade of trees, to cool off during the hot days of summer. Adjacent to the construction site, the area gives them a place to enjoy lunch or take a well-deserved work break.

Now when they take that break, they can enjoy tables that feature hand painted and caring messages from many who value what the new facility is bringing to South Carolina children and families.

Eva Allen, 12, is a rising seventh grader at C.E. Williams Middle School. She painted a table with a blue and white stripe motif. Eva, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, knows the Children’s Hospital well and serves on the MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council.

Eva Allen, Ann F. Ford
Eva Allen, 12, paints with her grandmother, Ann F. Ford.

The council includes a mix of people from 12 to 17 years old who either have a chronic illness or have experienced extended care at the Children’s Hospital. Teenage siblings of MUSC pediatric patients are welcome to join, too. They serve as advisors, sharing opinions and perspectives about anything to do with the Children’s Hospital.

“I wanted to make an impact on the hospital, hoping to help others, and we are trying to make a noticeable difference,” said Eva.  “It’s an awesome experience. Parents just see the outskirts and don’t understand what it’s like to live in the moment of a patient.”

Construction partners Robins & Morton, Cumming and Brownstone hosted the event to give workers a chance to connect with the purpose of the children's hospital.

The MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council 

The MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council is already sharing input for the current and future hospitals.  Since the group first met, it has:

  • Provided ideas for the new teen area, which is located in the Child Life Atrium, and shared thoughts on what it should include, from arts and crafts to a karaoke station and video games.
  • Met with the head of the dietary team to help develop a new snack menu. 
  • Been featured on Country Music TV’s Hometown Heroes show, in an episode that aired in April.  
  • Provided thoughts and ideas for the newly formed pediatric IV team, with suggestions on how to make getting an IV less stressful. 
  • Given input about technology choices in the new hospital.

Child Life Manager Betsy McMillan leads the council and calls it a wonderful addition."I've been overwhelmed with the energy of the group and what a difference their input makes for the hospital. They don't hold back,” McMillan said. "It's great having fresh, young ideas and seeing all the energy they have. Meetings always run long. They’re very honest about everything. And the staff has taken them really seriously."

Some staff members have sought advice from council members and gone to the group’s meetings. McMillan said they’re impressed by the fact that the council does more than offer offering ideas and suggestions. “The group shows up at events and supports fundraising events. I’m impressed by the group's dedication to the cause, whether it's showing up for the furniture fair or a country music special show featuring Darius Rucker.”

Council members have to be between 12 to 17 years old. Patients, former patients and their siblings are eligible. Email McMillan for details.

Behind the scenes: Making the new children's hospital a reality (MUSC News, July 18, 2017)

Crane operator controls best seat in the house building new children's hospital (MUSC News, July 18, 2017)

Patients and families get firsthand look at hospital they're helping build (MUSC News, June 17, 2017)

Construction on MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital ahead of schedule (Live 5 News, June 9, 2017)



View MUSC's Facebook page Follow MUSC on Twitter View the MUSC Health Youtube channel Read the MUSC Health blog circle arrow MUSC_TAG_SOLID_1C