"Turning a Waiting Room into a Welcoming Room" is a community-engaged collaboration between students at the University of Rochester and staff members at two Anthony L. Jordan Health Centers in Rochester, NY. Our combined goal is to transform the space from an intimidating medical environment to one that is welcoming to the patients that each Center serves. For the first stage of this project, students in the Introductory Painting class met with Cynthia McGonigle, a nurse-manager at Jordan Health Brown Square Center. She taught the students about the experiences of refugees in Rochester and what she hoped for when they entered the clinic. The students continued their education back on campus by researching the architecture, food, clothing, religions, languages, environments, and traditions for each of the regions mentioned in their site visit to the Center. They each then made a painting that reflected at least one of the cultures with the hopes that, when these particular patients entered the space, they would immediately feel welcome. The art is a permanent donation to the facility.
In fall semester, 2017, a new group of Introductory Painting students worked on a second rendition of "Turning a Waiting Room into a Welcoming Room" at the Jordan Health Center on Holland St. They met with Ms. Halley Koehler, MSN, RN, to learn about the vision she and her co-workers had for the center and to learn about the local communities the Health Center serves. The medical team was particularly interested in representation of Latin American patients and members of the LGBTQIA community. In total, students installed 20 works of art in the space, each of which reflected a segment of the Jordan Health Care community.
There are eleven Jordan Health Clinics in the Rochester Area. Each facility strives to serve patients regardless of their ability to pay.
The "Turning a Waiting Room into a Welcoming Room" project is made possible by the support of the Rochester Center for Community Leadership at the University of Rochester.