Photo Exhibit Documents Children's Hospital Move

Faculty and Staff are excited at the prospect of the new level of care that exists in the newly completed UNM Children’s Hospital Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion. However, for many long-term employees, the idea of moving into a brand new work space left them a little anxious and and feeling nostalgic for the old unit.

“Cradle to Cradle” a photography exhibit that documents the move of the UNM Children’s Hospital is opening at the UNM Hospital Art Gallery on Friday, August 10 and will run through September 28. A reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. on August 10. The gallery is located in the ACC-5 hallway outside of Internal Medicine.

The inspiration for the exhibit actually began with the nurses themselves, said Robert Katz, M.D., UNM Health Sciences Vice President for Clinical Affairs. Pediatric nurses at the hospital approached him before the move and asked if they could keep some spe-cial memorabilia – such as bits of wall paper etc - for a scrapbook.

“Our pediatric patients come from throughout New Mexico ,” said Katz. “Many of them stay for extended periods of and the nursing staff develops strong bonds with both the kids and their families.” “Some of our nurses have worked in the current unit for a long time. There is a certain comfort level in being in the same work environment for many years.”

Katz decided they needed more. He has hired a photography student who will be documenting the current operations and the move so that nurses have a permanent re-cord of their old home and the move into their new one. Photographer Xavier Mascarenas spent time in pediatric units and with the Child Life unit, documenting the day-to-day activities of staff and patients. Mascarenas is a student of Miguel Gandert, a world famous photographer who is a professor at UNM.

The title, “Cradle to Cradle” refers to the pediatric units that serve as second, temporary homes for children and families who are patients and also to the change from the old building to the new,” said Mascarenas in his artist statement.

This show will be the first viewing of his project. The Department of Pediatrics is pur-chasing some of the images for a permanent display. Nursing units are also scheduled to be presented with customized mementos of their time on the unit, ensuring that the memories of special patients in the past will be honored even as new memories are created for children being treated in the new wing in the future.

“We wanted someone with a fresh eye who could capture the essence of what our medical and nursing staff do on a daily basis to provide the very best care for children. To-date, it has been gratifying to see the photography project unfold,” said Katz. The UNM Hospital Art Gallery is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.– 6 p.m.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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