You just have to talk to Jeanette Partl for five minutes to know that she is extremely passionate about the arts and their place in the hospital setting. Not only is she continuously looking for ways to inspire and promote the healing arts, but she does it with such a positive attitude that it is infectious to those around her. It is this postivie attitude and passion for the arts that make Jeanette such a wonderful NAP coordinator.
Jeanette has been coordinating our NAP exhibition at Samaritan Health System, OR since its inception into the program in 2008. Her task of organizing an NAP exhibition is slightly more complex than many of our other venues. Samaritan Health System not only has two major locations (Valley and Coast) which are spaced hundreds of miles apart on either side of the state, but the health system encompasses six different hospitals. With the help of onsite coordinators at each location, Jeanette is able to display all the artwork of the employees and their family members at their corresponding hospital enabling them to not only see their own artwork, but that of their everyday co-workers. In addition, each hospital site also has their own awards reception in which a PowerPoint presentation displaying all the participants from the six different locations is on display. This not only lets the participants see the artwork from the other locations, but helps to unify the health system as a whole through art.
Here are Jeanette’s thought about the National Arts Program® . . .
Q. What makes the National Arts Program® different than any other art exhibit at Samaritan Health Valley / Coast?
A. It is the art exhibit that is totally employees only.
Q. Why do you feel that displaying employee artwork is important?
A. At least at SHS, everyone becomes quite close as we work each day with the stress of saving and improving lives. This art exhibit allows employees to have a stress free way of expressing themselves with their fellow workers through the sharing of their gifts by the exhibit.
Q. How have employees and their families responded to the opportunity to display their artwork?
A. Each year our numbers continue to grow. We have always encouraged our employees to include family members, an example was a teenager won “People’s Choice Award” at one of our hospitals. I think it makes our employees feel good to see not only other employees in the art exhibit, but to also see their own children in it.
Q. Why do you think displaying artwork in the hospital setting is so important?
A. As the SHSArts In Healthcare (AIH) Program Coordinator, I work at all five hospital sites to provide assistance to Managers and Directors in artwork displays. No one wants to be at a hospital, but we all have to be from time to time. With artwork, healing gardens, displays and exhibits we strive to make the hospital setting more appealing and provide distraction from the emotional distress of illness.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of the National Arts Program®?
A. I would have to say it is the professional way NAP helps with the show. Of course, the award money is a big draw, but the ribbons, the supporting documents of the event, the guidebooks for the coordinators, the judge’s guidelines, the online registration and the award show assistance helps me in preparing an Art Exhibit that has the looks and display of a professional exhibit, which of course it is.
Q. Do visitors to the hospital respond to the employee exhibit?
A. Yes they do. Each show we have banners announcing the exhibit with signs pointing to the directions of the various displays. We have a lot of visitors just spend time in the hallways while awaiting patient/family news.
Q. How has utilizing online registration made the process easier for you?
A. With online registration we get “instant” information about those who have signed up. With that we can see how the numbers are averaging per site and discuss if additional displays are needed. It is very helpful to plan for an even better exhibit.
Q. Can you tell us how art has had a positive impact on your personal life?
A. The most positive impact is getting a new job title as AIH Program Coordinator. After working in the AIH program for six years the development of this position was offered to me. I enjoy the arts and can’t think of a better place to promote the use of artwork than in a hospital.
Q. How did you get started in the art field or have you always been involved in the arts?
A. My mother is a painter and my brother is an artist with leather work.
Q. Are you an artist yourself?
A. Yes, I do a lot of photography, beginning in high school as the photographer for the annual staff to currently as a hobby photographer. I also enjoy many crafts including: jewelry making, crochet and cross stitch design.
Jeanette’s photograph entitled “Buddies” is just one
of the many pieces of artwork by talented employees
that can be found in our online artist gallery.
Q. Is there anything else you want to add?
A. I would like to add that the “Non-Matching” scholarship has allowed us to do that “extra special” touch to this year’s exhibits. Four of our hospitals will be having glass displays installed to highlight 3-d artwork. For many years now, only one of our five hospitals had a glass display case for 3-d art. I wished that all the hospitals could have a glass display case. The NAP's “Non-Matching” scholarship is going to provide that this year and I will have my first wish come true.