Aug 25 2011

Giving back through art and compassion

One Health System employee works in memory of his son

Scott Newport, Patient and Family Centered Care Program

Scott Newport never considered himself an artist, yet his woodwork earned an honorable mention in this year’s Gifts of Art Annual Employee Art Exhibition at University Hospital. He’s been a carpenter for 33 years, but it wasn’t until his youngest son was diagnosed with a terminal illness that he began to realize the transformative and inspiring effect his work had on himself and others.

Newport began volunteering for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital shortly after his son Evan was born in 2002, and eventually began working part-time for the hospital’s Patient and Family Centered Care Program. He spends 10 hours a week on everything from communications and outreach to mentoring families with sick children. PFCC’s aim is to help staff respect and partner with patients and families to provide safe and compassionate care. 

“Memory Box” made by Scott Newport. Photo by Elizabeth Walker.

Evan was born with Noonan Syndrome, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and lung disease. To cope with the illness and eventual loss of his son in 2009, and to show his appreciation to the Mott staff, Newport also makes furniture in his garage from leftover scraps of wood.

“The wood I build with has knots and holes and some is even dug out of the garbage,” says Newport. “It’s a way to show that there is a lot of beauty in disability and imperfection.”

“This year’s exhibition once again blew us away with how much artistic talent we have across the Health System,” says Elaine Sims, Gifts of Art director. “Scott’s pieces not only displayed the beauty that comes with talent and craftsmanship, they also conveyed the love of the materials and forms that made them all the more compelling and interesting.”

In his work at the Health System, Newport serves as co-chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council which is comprised of two-thirds family members or patients and one-third Mott staff and faculty. Members of the family-run council help identify issues, brainstorm unique solutions and implement change at UMHHC.

Evan Newport, a Mott patient until 2009, is the inspiration for Newport’s art.

“It’s nice to collaborate with members of this group, because we all have the same mission which is to help families.”

Newport is also a member of the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit’s PFCC Committee, the PFCC Awareness and Visibility workgroup, and the U-M Homecare Services Committee.

“I work on these committees behind the scenes to promote PFAC and our core concepts. Other times I am there one-on-one with families who are facing the reality of having a child with a disease,” says Newport. “Someone cared that much about me and my family when we went through this and I think I can do the same to help the next kid or family on their journey.”

For Newport, the real reward is helping others through his art and work at Mott.

For more information on Scott Newport’s artwork and his son Evan, click here for a YouTube video created by independent filmmaker Everett Marshall.

Evan Newport HOPE Awards

  • The HOPE Awards recognize staff, faculty and/or volunteers who demonstrate the principles of Patient & Family-Centered Care: dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration – in their everyday actions and behaviors.
  • The HOPE award, ‘Helping Our Patients Everyday,’ was developed by Mott’s Patient & Family Centered Care Program in collaboration with Scott Newport.

3 Responses to “Giving back through art and compassion”

  1. Rick Joseph says:

    Of course, Scott is also a brilliant poet and writer whose words serve as inspiration for living to all those who read his pieces.

  2. Judy Rapp says:

    I have read almost all of Scott’s Daily Thoughts over the last few years. I have a 28 year old son with Noonan Syndrome. We are lucky that he does not have the medical issues little Evan had. Scott is an inspiration to all of us dealing with Noonan Syndrome.

  3. chris reynaert says:

    Scott has dedicated his time, energy, and love through his woodworking and writing since Evan was born Feb. 5, 2002. He is a very giving person. I am not surprised he is on so many committees regarding patient and family services at U-M. I was one of Evan’s nurses for 6 1/2 of Evan’s 7 years. I miss him dearly. I felt like part of the Newport family, and shared their good times and bad during Evan’s illness.

    Scott’s contribution to U-M Mott is admirable, priceless, and heartfelt.

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