NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Unveils Palliative Care Family Meeting Room

Medical students transform conference room into tranquil space for families of gravely ill patients

Jul 19, 2018

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue has unveiled its new Palliative Care Family Meeting Room, also known as the Serenity Room, a project that was a collaboration of hospital staff and graduating medical students who transformed a conference room into a tranquil space for the families of gravely ill patients.

Thirteen NYU School of Medicine students who are members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society worked with muralist Rick Jordan to create a blue wall design that is an adaptation of Wall Drawing 895: Loopy Doopy, by American artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007)—a painting that evokes water and waves.

The NYU Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine contributed $1,500, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s Department of Palliative Care provided $850. The donations were used to buy paint, tables, chairs, a couch, and area rugs for the space in shades of blue and gray.

The space is designed to provide a tranquil environment for providers to meet with family members of patients to deliver serious news, discuss end-of-life issues, and explore goals of care in gravely ill patients. During a difficult time, the room fosters a feeling of serenity and calm.

Standing: Dr. Michael Tanner, Dr. Julia Fallon, Dr. Kyra Edson, Dr. Alexa Yuen, Dr. Susan Cohen and William Hicks, CEO
Front row: Louisa Tvito-Carro, Gold Humanism Society and Dr. Hannah Tredway

“This service project was particularly special for myself and my classmates as it gave us an opportunity to give back to Bellevue, a place that helped shape us as clinicians,” said Dr. Julia Fallon, recent graduate of NYU School of Medicine. “The newly renovated room is a place that is aesthetically pleasing and touched by so many students who care so deeply for Bellevue’s patients.”

“This was a project born out of true compassion that has produced a very warm and healing space for our patients, families, and caregivers,” said William Hicks, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

The mural is on the north and east walls. On the south and west walls, the group painted the following quotation from Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004), in English, Spanish, and Chinese: “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”

“The Kübler-Ross quotation, which we selected from among hundreds of candidates, makes the serenity space more than just a pleasant, nice-looking room,” said Dr. Michael Tanner, attending physician, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, who worked closely with the students. “The room sends a strong message of hope: that no matter how bad things may look, there is a path back.”


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