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ACMC gives patients a new view

Hospital news | Friday, June 11, 2021

Artist's muralA new mural was installed recently at Ashtabula County Medical Center. Before the mural was hung, patients in rooms on the west side saw a brick wall when looking out their windows. Now the 40-foot-by-30-foot artwork gives patients and families an artistic greenhouse view.

ACMC Chief Nursing Officer Jacquelyn DiFiore, DNP, MHA, RN, NEA-BC, said, “The idea of the mural began with one nurse who wanted to improve the view for patients on our north wing.”

Kim Evans, RN, noticed that patient rooms on the east side of the hospital have a view of the Ashtabula River, blue skies, and trees. But, because of hospital expansions in the 1950s and 1980s, some rooms on the west side look out on the brick wall.

Evans thought a colorful mural would enhance the view, so she shared the concept with the Nursing Shared Governance Committee. Nursing leadership and hospital administration were impressed with the idea and sought the help of the ACMC Foundation to take the mural from concept to reality.

The original greenhouse scene was painted by Brant Gebhart, who has also done original artwork for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Clinic.

“It was a terrific idea. We commissioned the greenhouse scape and found a company that could print such a large banner,” said ACMC Foundation Executive Director Tami Netkowicz, CFRE.

Nurses and other caregivers gathered at windows to watch as the huge banner slid from the roof over the side of the building. The mural is between buildings and only gets direct sun a few hours each day. The afternoon and evening sun reflects off windows opposite the mural, creating dappled lighting that highlights portions of the banner.

Evans said patients began commenting on the mural not long after it was hung.

“It’s just so happy. It looks good from all the floors. It turned out better than I expected,” she said. “The sun catches it at different times of the day and it just makes people smile.”

Ashtabula County Medical Center President and CEO Michael Habowski, said, “I’m glad to see improvements that may brighten the mood for patients and families, but I am equally proud of the effort of so many people to make it a reality.”