"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 particular demographic of 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.
The opening reception:
A new group of Introductory Painting students at the University of Rochester is currently working on a second rendition of "Turning a Waiting Room into a Welcoming Room" with our new community partner, Halley Koehler, MSN, RN, a nurse at the Jordan Health Center, Holland St. The students had their first site visit on October, 16, to learn about the particular demographics this clinic serves and understand the vision of the health professionals who work there. Many of the patients at Holland St, for example, are Spanish-speaking. The team of nurses and health professionals have a particular interest in including imagery that is welcoming to Latin Americans and the LGBTQ community. All works are a permanent donation; the opening reception is planned for early December, 2017.
In total, there are eleven Jordan Health Clinics in the Rochester Area, each of which serves the community in which it is located. Each facility is pay-as-you-can. They accept all patients, with and without health insurance.
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.