Dartmouth Health Children’s celebrates the opening of new ADA-compliant playground

Ribbon cutting
L-R, Joanne M. Conroy, Keith J. Loud, MD, Elliot Perry, Carrie Perry, Erik M. Shessler, MD, Ted Gatsas, Officer Kyle Daly, Governor Chris Sununu, Chuck Morse and BJ Perry.

As a CHaD kid, Elliot knows intuitively that play is not just fun, it is fundamental to healthy physical and mental development in children.

Keith J. Loud, MD, physician-in-chief at Dartmouth Health Children’s

Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Manchester is now home to an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant playground thanks to a fundraising initiative lead by the Perry Family of Bedford. Elliot Perry, 10, is a dedicated Dartmouth Health Children’s ambassador who is committed to giving back to the hospital that he and his parents credit with saving his life. Elliot was born almost four months early, at just 1 lb. 9 oz., and given an 18 percent chance of survival. After 121 days in the Intensive Care Nursery at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Elliot was released from the hospital and able to go home to his family. Elliot’s 121 Club initiative, inspired by the 121 days spent in the hospital, succeeded fundraising efforts and a ribbon cutting celebration was held on July 21, 2022, with Dartmouth Health leadership, staff, dignitaries and playground supporters.

“It’s was a great day to celebrate this journey, I’m thankful to our family, friends and 121 club supporters for joining us and giving back to the place that saved my life,” said Elliot Perry.

With the Manchester playground complete, efforts will now turn to completing a similar project at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.

“We are so proud of Elliot and his big heart and love for life,” said Eliot’s parents BJ and Carrie Perry. “He was determined to build this playground for every child to enjoy and today his dream became a reality. We look forward to getting to work on the playground in Lebanon.”

The goal of these playgrounds is to help create an even better patient experience for families, allowing them to take breaks during long visits, have a place to develop gross motor skills, build positive coping skills and be accessible for all children to play.

“As a CHaD kid, Elliot knows intuitively that play is not just fun, it is fundamental to healthy physical and mental development in children,” said Keith J. Loud, MD, physician-in-chief at Dartmouth Health Children’s. “It is literally how they learn and grow. I’m so grateful that our friends the Perry Family have partnered with Dartmouth Health Children’s Child Life and Community Relations along with Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Manchester leadership and facilities to create a playground that is safe, welcoming and designed for all children.”

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About CHaD

As New Hampshire's only full-service, comprehensive children's hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock (CHaD) is committed to providing outstanding compassionate care for children and their families. Their physician expertise provides primary, specialty, and tertiary care to the children of New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond. CHaD offers inpatient (hospital care) and outpatient (same day care) services at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Outpatient and same-day surgery services are available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Manchester. Primary care is available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock facilities in Bedford, Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Manchester, and Nashua, NH, and Bennington, VT. For more information about CHaD, please visit www.chadkids.org or contact us at 603-650‐KIDS or chad.community.relations@hitchcock.org.