Against the backdrop of a mural painted by local high school students on St. Luke’s Easton campus, officials from the St. Luke’s University Health Network Tuesday presented grants to the first recipients of special community grants celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. Luke were awarded Well Hill.
The students at Easton Area High School and Phillipsburg High School who, in collaboration with Lafayette College’s arts program, have created the mental health affirmation mural over the past six months will each receive a scholarship check and a certificate of artistic achievement Excellence from SLUHN.
In addition to the individual grants, SLUHN will fund a future community-based arts initiative in Easton to further support health and healing, said Rosemarie Lister, Senior Network Director of Community Health.
Student artists who were awarded grants included Sage Brotzman, Alexandra (Lexi) DuBose and Jarista Rosario of Easton; and Ella Gagliardi, Hannah Beck, and Ciara Quiñónez of Phillipsburg High School.
“As part of this celebration, St. Luke’s will be making special grants totaling $150,000 to partner schools and nonprofit organizations working to make a positive impact in our community,” said Rajiika Reed, MD, vice president of St. Luke’s Community Health.
St. Luke’s has been a cornerstone of healthcare in the Lehigh Valley since its founding in 1872. The Lehigh Valley’s oldest hospital was established to give industrial workers – many from Bethlehem Steel’s predecessor – access to on-site healthcare. Elimination of the long journey to New York or Philadelphia for critical treatment. A century and a half later, St. Luke’s continues to honor his commitment to local businesses and the community.
St. Luke’s one-year celebration began this spring with staff events on the St. Luke campus, a special IronPigs anniversary baseball game at Coca-Cola Park, and a special anniversary episode, “Health Now,” airing on WFMZ-TV Channel 69 became. Other events and activities are planned throughout the year.
Both Reed and Lister spoke to guests during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the mural, which was unveiled on Wednesday.
The three-dimensional, 30-foot-long and 2.4-m-tall artwork, installed on a wall on the hospital’s second floor, features pink lotus flowers symbolizing serenity, teal “honeycomb” representing connectedness, and white bubbles for life and creativity , all designed and painted – or applied as vinyl cutouts – onto a deep blue wall covering. The characters were chosen by the students through months of planning, with guidance from Jim Toia, executive director of the Lafayette Experience, and art teachers from the two school districts, PSD’s Jason Horvath and EASD’s Loren Marquardt.
Four panes of tempered glass suspended from the ceiling and anchored to the floor in front of the mural offer the uplifting quote the students chose to title their creation: “Like the lotus we can rise from the mud, blossom from the darkness and radiate into the world.”
Lexi DuBose, an Easton Region graduate, called her role in creating the mural “a great honor” and said she hopes the wall will help people “be okay, grow and learn to adapt.” and relax”.
It was an appropriate message given the Easton campus’ commitment to behavioral health. Just this year, the campus opened a new adolescent behavioral health department to provide safe, expert, and compassionate care for children and adolescents with severe mental, emotional, or behavioral symptoms.
St. Luke’s Easton Campus President Linda Grass thanked Lafayette College students, teachers, administrators and mentors for creating the mural to encourage serenity and uplift the spirits of onlookers — including patients, families, hospital staff and community members – who will visit the installation. which is near the hospital chapel.
“St. Luke’s is proud to sponsor the creation of this remarkable mural as we work every day to improve the health of our community,” she said. “What these talented young artists have done is give each of us the opportunity to find peace and hope here, and then take it out into the world to share with our families, friends and neighbors.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.