Ever watched Seinfeld? The show where friends drop by unannounced but are always welcome? The place where hospitality is assumed so that anyone can open the fridge and help themselves? Claire’s home is like that except it is not a New York apartment, it is a charming house from the 1800’s with a garden outside. Come on by and she will share a jar of the pickles she has grown and preserved. Or maybe she’ll offer some of her homemade botanicals to improve skin and health. Forest Gump might have seen life as a box of chocolates, but for Claire life is a farmer’s market! There is just so much variety to see and taste and enjoy. On any given day, Claire might be working on one of her vintage motorcycles (she collects them), or restoring her home, or pulling some weeds, or feeding her animals (four dogs and one cat). Yes, life is an abundant “mar-ket” for Claire. And if you miss her at home, look for her out and about in her van named…wait for it… “Garden!”
Claire works in Food Services for St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s Hospital Chaplain Saundra Shanti wanted to connect patients to their caregivers and employees to each other. That’s why she created the Healing Hands portrait series, featuring black and white photographs and stories of St. Mark’s employees at all levels.
“Our patients and families who go in and out know that this is a nurse, and this is a housekeeper, but they don’t know them as people,” Saundra said. “I wanted to humanize our healthcare community to one another and to our families and patients.”
Each photo is accompanied by a story; some biographical, others are anecdotes of experiences that led employees to become caregivers and healthcare professionals. Twelve portraits are currently displayed throughout the hospital, but a total of 36 photos will be rotated throughout the exhibit for the next two months.
By highlighting personal, inspiring and real stories about the staff who will be caring for patients during what can often be an emotional time, the exhibit builds a sense of community. Patients and families will be able to view caregivers as real people with real stories whom they can relate to and connect with, making the hospital experience more personal.
“When we humanize each other, we care more for one another,” Saundra said. “I wanted our employees to be recognized as valuable human beings apart from their professional titles. I wanted to cultivate interaction and respect across our departments and services.”