A new mural has been unveiled at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health. The latest mural from the health system’s Arts in Medicine department is called "Together We Heal," created by Harlem artist Kristy McCarthy.
“We are excited to unveil South Brooklyn Health’s murals, which provided a unique opportunity for our patients, staff, and community to work together to create images highlighting the joy and pride for a neighborhood that many call home,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health CEO Svetlana Lipyanskaya in a press release. “Art is a magical portal for healing and has been shown to improve patient outcomes. This project, with its nod to our past and a view to our future, will further solidify the connection between South Brooklyn Health and the communities we serve.”
"Together We Heal "is one of nine new murals that have been created this year, building on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project. "Together We Heal" is a two-part mural that pays homage to the vibrant history and culture of Coney Island. Located in the waiting room of the adult emergency department, the first section of the mural includes rabbits, which originally inhabited the area and gave Coney Island its name.
The mural pays tribute to the hospital’s origins as a modest beachfront first aid station. Throughout this narrative, depictions of unity and assistance emerge, where children make a sandcastle and healing hands guide an elderly patient toward the hospital entrance. At the heart of the mural stands a compassionate doctor, sheltering her patient beneath an umbrella, a symbol of weathering storms together.
The second section of the mural, located in the waiting room of the pediatric emergency department, portrays an enchanting underwater realm. It nods to the nearby New York Aquarium as a source of tranquility for patients. A mermaid, an iconic figure in Coney Island folklore, gently comforts her child.
“Working with the staff and medical professionals of NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health was a heartwarming experience and I could clearly see the amount of love and care that they feel for their patients, their community, and for each other,” said McCarthy. “With these murals, I hoped to convey that sense of unity and togetherness, while also celebrating South Brooklyn’s rich history and culture. Coming to the hospital can be a scary and upsetting experience for many, but my hope is that these artworks can bring some comfort, inspiration or even delight to patients and families visiting the ER.”
The Community Mural Project is believed to be the country’s largest public hospital mural program since the 1930s.
The art collection is used to enhance the healthcare environment, inspire creativity, promote wellness, increase access to the arts, and engage staff. The Community Mural Project creates opportunities for hospital staff to collaborate with each other and with neighbors, relieve stress and enhance the physical environment of the facilities.