Cincinnati Children's Blog

A Spectacular Display of Collaboration, Healing, and Artwork

The recently renovated outpatient centers of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute (CBDI) are a spectacular sight.  The beautiful lighting, bright colors, clean lines, and artwork. But what’s even more spectacular is the thought and planning behind its creation.

It all started with a little girl named Katie.  Katie was a young cancer patient whose favorite animal was monkeys. Her mother, Anne Boat, now an anesthesiologist and patient experience officer at Cincinnati Children’s, set out 10 years ago to bring some color and joy to the CBDI clinic space where they spent the bulk of their time. She commissioned artist Pam Kravetz and some teen apprentices to design a jungle-themed mural, fondly referred to as Katie’s Kingdom, which enlivened the A5 clinic space for 10 years. Back then, Anne was a doctor-mom trying to adapt to her new role as a cancer-mom and realized Cincinnati Children’s could do more to make life more manageable for families caring for their children in the hospital.  In other words, she was the impetus for what is now our hallmark:  family-centered care.

Fast forward 10 years and it was time for the CBDI outpatient centers to be renovated for a better patient experience.  Because Katie’s legacy goes far beyond the aesthetic features of the space, the CBDI leadership promised to keep her memory alive in the renovation. A team of patients, families, staff and artists were enlisted to help plan the space.  The idea was to create an environment that helps care for the medical, social, psychological and emotional needs of patients and families and reflects the range of emotions they experience. Artwork, it was determined, is a great way to accomplish some of those goals.

As you’ll see in the following photos, the nature theme was carried throughout all of the outpatient centers. Bringing nature’s healing and sustaining power indoors is important for patients who are often confined inside during care.

The pediatric waiting room has bright colors, natural light, kid furniture and an adaptation of the Katie’s Kingdom mural.

The playful jungle theme continues to the nurses station…

and the recovery rooms…

and patient rooms.

On each of the Adolescent and Adult Center doors, there are leaves inscribed with a word selected by families to provide an uplifting message – dream, live, cherish, smile, beauty, strength, happiness, believe, love, courage, hope, kindness, and compassion.

Four local artists, in collaboration with Artworks, led seven art-making workshops with approximately 260 patients, families and staff members to create artwork for the Adolescent and Adult Center. The idea was to provide an opportunity for those that spend so much time in the space to be a part of its creation and beautification. The result is a welcoming, calming, and hopeful environment.

Here’s a closer look at each of the artists’ work and their approach to incorporating ideas and talents from patients, families, and staff into their art.

The exquisite paintings of Megan Triantafillou incorporate reverse print markings made by patients to reflect their feelings of courage, love, and strength.

The whimsical quilted compositions of Pam Kravetz were inspired by stories shared with her by patients and families, incorporating their favorite colors and elements

The inspirational clay sculpture of Cheryl Pannabecker includes leaves and river tiles inscribed by patients. The changing seasons symbolize their personal growth and progress.

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