Trinity Health Saint Mary’s unveils mural

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Shannon Cohen stands next to the mural featuring her ode to health care workers at Trinity Health Saint Mary's. Courtesy Shannon Cohen

A new mural at Trinity Health Saint Mary’s honors the work of nurses and medical caregivers.

The mural, titled “An Ode to Community Healers,” is located near the skywalk on the second floor of the hospital at 200 Jefferson Ave. SE in Grand Rapids. The mural was unveiled and dedicated during the hospital’s celebration of National Nurses and Health Care Week, May 6-12. 

Conceived by Shannon Cohen and painted by muralist Octavia Mingerink, the mural reflects gratitude and appreciation for health care workers in the Grand Rapids area. 

Cohen, author, podcaster and creator of the Tough Skin, Soft Heart products, conceptualized the mural and penned the ode accompanying the painting. The ode reads, in part:

“You call it going to work — we call you hope dealers / You call it another day in the life of a medical professional — we call it compassion in motion / You say it is your job — we honor it as your calling / You are not faceless / What you do saves and restores.” 

Mingerink, a local muralist and owner of Pretty in Ink Press, said in a statement accompanying the artwork her inspiration for the piece centered on blooming and facing challenges with perseverance. Her passion for the project was fueled during her time painting at the hospital and observing the strength of the health care workers she saw there daily. 

“Seeing these community healers carry some of the toughest parts of the human experience grew my appreciation for the Saint Mary’s team,” Mingerink said. 

The mural was funded in its entirety by the Saint Mary’s Foundation. 

“There were some really beautiful stories coming out as Octavia was painting and Shannon was pulling the words together,” said Michelle Rabideau, president of the Saint Mary’s Foundation. “We are overjoyed Octavia and Shannon share their talents in our community and within our hospital walls, and we are tremendously thankful to all of our health care heroes caring for patients day in and day out.”

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