CONCORD — Charles Cappetta, MD, FAAP, Dartmouth Health Children’s pediatrician and children’s health advocate, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Sandi Van Scoyoc Legacy Award by the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation. The foundation is a leading funder to improve the health and wellness of children in the state.
Cappetta, or simply “Dr. Chuck” to the countless patients and families, schoolchildren and others who have had the good fortune to encounter him, has been practicing pediatric and family medicine in Nashua, N.H. for more than 30 years. Cappetta was honored in a ceremony at Dartmouth Health’s regional administrative office in Bedford on Monday, June 6, where Gail Garceau, president of the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation, presented him with the award and a $2,500 check, which he donated to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children New Hampshire.
Cappetta completed his pediatric residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon in 1993 and joined the pediatric practice at Hitchcock Clinic in Nashua, now Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Nashua, in 1993, where his practice has thrived since. He will celebrate his 33rd anniversary with Dartmouth Health on June 26.
“From the beginning of his career, Dr. Chuck’s practice has been guided by his belief that each child is unique and special. His passion for helping children thrive has helped countless children become well-rounded, healthy and thoughtful adults,” said Keith Loud, MD, Dartmouth Health Children’s Physician-in-Chief, Chair Department of Pediatrics, and Board Vice Chair for the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation. “I was thrilled when my colleagues at the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation informed me that they had voted Dr. Chuck recipient of this year’s Sandy Van Scoyoc Legacy Award.”
Beyond his pediatric practice, Cappetta devotes his expertise, energy and personal time to the health and well-being of thousands of children through his participation and leadership in numerous professional and civic organizations, committees, councils and boards, and other advisory and hands-on roles locally, regionally and nationally.
“Dr. Cappetta is truly a champion for children’s health,” said Garceau. “His work, both professionally and as a volunteer, exemplifies the priorities of our foundation, from promoting the importance of children’s oral health through the full continuum of healthy eating and active living.”
Recognizing the importance of educating and supporting new fathers, Cappetta got his start in community outreach and education by beginning a support group for new dads in 1994. He developed the programming, and facilitated monthly drop-in meetings for new dads and their babies for the next 10 years.
He has served as School Physician for NH SAUs 41 and 42 for the past 28 years and he has visited schools throughout the region each Monday on his “day off” to teach students in Pre-K through grade 12 about living healthy lives.
In 1997, Cappetta founded Granite State FitKids and continues to devote time and energy to the program, including serving as chairman of its board of directors. Geared to fourth graders, the award-winning program teaches children about their bodies and how individual choices and actions affect us; promotes the 5 E’s — Excitement, Enthusiasm, Energy, Exercise and Education at home, in school and in the community; engages children and their families in regular physical activity and promotes lifelong respect for mind, body and spirit. The program also teaches students about older life health risks, such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer and drug and alcohol use.
When schools were remote during COVID-19, Cappetta created a virtual FitKids for those schools that wanted to continue offering the program to students.
Cappetta has also served in leadership roles at Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinics Nashua, with the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Association of Pediatrics, New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association, New Hampshire Governor’s Council on Physical Activity and Health, and he has served on the City of Nashua Board of Public Health for eight years. He currently serves as the pediatrician for youth ages 13-17 at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.
“Although he has received many, many accolades throughout his career, Dr. Chuck’s greatest achievement is the profound positive impact he has had on thousands of children and families throughout New Hampshire,” said Garceau. “It is with great appreciation and respect that the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation honors Dr. Chuck Cappetta with the Van Scoyoc Award for his tireless and far- reaching work with children and families,” she added.
The award ceremony, held at Dartmouth Health’s offices in Bedford, was attended by some of Cappetta’s Dartmouth Health colleagues, and his children, Andrew, Kate, Kelsey and Alyssa, who surprised their father by joining virtually.