To the Editor:
I was excited to finally see an article in The D relating to CHaD (Students clown around at CHaD, 11/16/00), as I consider the paper's lack of coverage of events at DHMC a serious omission of an integral part of the Dartmouth community. There are multiple programs at the hospital in which many Dartmouth students and community members participate. Tucker projects, COSO organizations, Greek houses and College employees all do important work at and for the benefit of DHMC. While it was gratifying that a few volunteers were finally recognized, the article fails to mention critical components of CHaD which facilitate such volunteerism.
CHaD is the only children's hospital in the area with a Child Life Program. This program, run by Carolyn Sailor, works to provide for the emotional and psychological needs of the patients. In my mind, programs like ArtCare are only a reflection of the hospital's long-standing commitment to the philosophy that healing does not occur solely through medical treatment. There are multiple activities at DHMC which reflect this commitment to overall patient care. The next-to-last paragraph of the article briefly glosses over other student work that occurs at the hospital. But it fails to truly capture the range of activities at DHMC and the goal behind them. Dartmouth groups such as Wishing Well and Tucker Volunteers and non-Dartmouth related projects such as canine visitors are just a few of the projects that work through DHMC, and Child Life in particular, to make sure that a patient's stay is as conducive to recovery and well-being, in all their facets, as possible. It is sad how little recognized these programs and their volunteers are, especially considering their impact on a Dartmouth hospital which serves an even larger community.