Kids paint picnic tables at construction site

Patients, families and members of the MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council gathered outside the construction site of the new 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.

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

The tables 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-years-old and a rising seventh grader at C.E. Williams Middle School, happily 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.

The Council includes a mix of teens from age 12 to 18, 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 and share 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,” she said.

The MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council is already sharing input for the current and future hospitals.  Since the group first met, they have provided ideas for the new teen area, 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.  They’ve met with the head of dietary to help develop a new snack menu. They were even featured on Country Music TV’s Hometown Heroes show, which aired in April.  They’ve provided thoughts and ideas for the newly formed Pediatric IV team, with suggestions on how to make getting an IV less stressful Recently, they gave input about technology choices in the new hospital.

Whether it’s a menu idea, a place for workers to relax or design of the new hospital, the MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council is certain to make a difference.  For more information about the MUSC Youth Patient Advisory Council, contact Betsy McMillan at

MUSC Children’s Health is a system of preventive and clinical care that delivers the most advanced, evidence-based health services to children from fetal stage and tiny newborns through the teen years. While the flagship MUSC Children’s Hospital is located in downtown Charleston, specialized pediatric care is now delivered through an expanding network of outreach locations, making children’s health care more convenient for families. MUSC Children’s Health is accessible across South Carolina at specialty clinics close to where community pediatricians treat their patients and through the state’s largest telehealth network. The telehealth network includes maternal-fetal care, tele-ICU, nutrition counseling, school-based care and a number of evolving programs. To learn more about MUSC Children’s Health, visit

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children, construction