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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Splashes of Hope Brightens Walls and Lives

    ‘?I forgot when theywere going to give me a needle because I was staring at the bunny on thewall,’ said an eight year-old patient at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    The boy was distracted bywhat some call the ‘artistic medicine’ provided by Splashes of Hope,a non-profit organization of artists and volunteers. The group creates customized, colorful murals inside medicalfacilities and orphanages to provide attractive visual stimuli for patients,particularly children.

    The organization dedicatedits newest mural, a depiction of the characters and story of The Wizard ofOz, this past month at Stony BrookMedical Center.

    ‘?Our patients, staffand visitors appreciate your art work,’ said Bruce Shroffel, HospitalDirector and CEO, during the dedication. ‘?It has done so much tobeautify the hospital and warm the environment here for the youngsters. Thankyou for your talent, your caring, and your kindness. The art work is wonderful.’

    The first mural project wasdone at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla in 1996. After it wascompleted, word spread quickly, and upon hearing the positive feedback fromstaff, patients and family members, artist Heather Buggee created Splashes ofHope.

    For years, Splashes of Hopehas worked in collaboration with art therapists and medical professionals tocreate medical settings that can be used as tools forpain management, therapeutic distraction, soothing visualization, and focalpoints during necessary procedures.

    ‘?Our works aredesigned to stimulate the healing process of patients by giving them a soothingvisual focus while in the hospital,’ Buggee said.

    The art in Stony BrookMedical Center adorns several hospitals units, including Maternity, AmbulatoryPediatrics, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and Child Psychiatry.

    The hospital awarded aplaque to the artists and volunteers of the organization, and congratulatedtheir efforts on the new mural. Ongoing projects include pictures for ceilingtiles above examination tables and beds on pediatric floors.

    ‘Words of appreciationseem inadequate in expressing our heartfelt thanks for the exquisite workyou’ve selflessly completed in our pediatric ambulatory unit,’ saidRichard N. Fine, MD. Professor and Chairman, Department of Pediatrics at StonyBrook. ‘Your organization has transformed the Children’s Medical Centerat Stony Brook from a white-walled ‘hospital’ environment to a brilliantlypicturesque, fun atmosphere, which helps to reduce the stress associated withillness of injury.’

    Splashes of Hope has becomeinternationally renowned since its inception in 1996, with increasing requestsfrom institutions to have their walls decorated. Hospitals have welcomed thework as many positive patient responses reflect the success of the venture.

    Splashes of Hope currentlyhas about 40 volunteers, including 15 artists, and is always looking for moreindividuals to join its mission.

    ‘It takes a huge amountof energy to keep a positive attitude, but we need to, because our feelings arereflected in the artwork,’ Buggee said.

    For more information, visit

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