Appalachian Challenge: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Our Youth

Dominick Tammaro MDMy Story – Dominick Tammaro, MD

I first came to Brown University as a college student in 1977 and immediately became enamored of the spirit of community and collaboration here. Almost 45 years later, I’ve held the best job in the world at Rhode Island Hospital as the Brown Internal Medicine Residency Director. I have decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Starting in March 2022, I’ll be hiking from Georgia to Maine over a 5-6-month period, through fourteen states on a trail just shy of 2,200 miles in length. I want to put something this big to a greater use – to benefit others.

In my work as a physician, I’ve cared for many adults who have suffered from mental illness since childhood, many of whom were unable to get proper treatment in their youth. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a second pandemic of behavioral and mental illness, especially notable among children and young adults. I’d like to use my hiking journey as a small way to raise both awareness and funds to support our community’s response to this urgent need for children’s behavioral health care. I’d welcome your help and support in this effort.

How You Can Help

I am raising funds for the Appalachian Challenge: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Our Youth through Bradley Hospital, the nation’s premier pediatric psychiatric hospital – which just so happens to be in the healthcare system where I have practiced for over 30 years. Bradley Hospital opened in 1931 as the first children’s psychiatric hospital in the United States, and today it offers the most comprehensive array of pediatric behavioral health services available anywhere. In fact, families travel to Bradley not only from throughout New England for treatment, but from all around the country and even from far off international locations. In addition, it is a top psychiatric training and research institution.

By supporting advanced training of young physicians, we are expanding capacity and improving access to desperately needed mental health care for children and young adults. As we continue to navigate a true children’s mental health crisis affecting our whole nation, families need mental healthcare more than ever before. Bradley’s work in recent months has been aimed at reaching as many kids as possible, and the possibilities are even greater with improved access through telemedicine.

I am hiking the Appalachian Trail to fulfill a long-standing dream of mine and to help kids get their own best chance to fulfill their own dreams. Although I am already motivated to make this journey, your support of this cause will increase my drive to succeed for all of us. Every donation helps, no matter the amount, and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Appalachian Trail Miles by State:

Georgia 79 miles
North Carolina 95.7 miles
NC/TN Border 224.7 miles
Tennessee 94 miles
Virginia 554 miles
West Virginia 4 miles
Maryland 40 miles
Pennsylvania 229 miles
New Jersey 72 miles
New York 90 miles
Connecticut 51 miles
Massachusetts 91 miles
Vermont 150 miles
New Hampshire 160.9 miles
Maine 282 miles

Together, we can improve the lives of children and their families both in Rhode Island and far beyond.

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