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New artwork creates warm welcome in Berkeley pediatric office

The work of local artists helps take the edge off a doctor’s appointment for the little ones. Pictured, Dr. Nora Garcia-Zepeda, talks about new art work in the Kaiser Permanente Berkeley Medical Offices.

For many young children and their parents, just the thought of a visit to the doctor’s office can be a traumatic experience.

New wall-to-ceiling paintings of wide-eyed forest creatures and kids flying kites under a rainbow take some of the edge off a doctor’s appointment at the Kaiser Permanente Berkeley Pediatrics Department, said department chief Nora Garcia-Zepeda, MD.

Kids playing and flying a kite brighten up the height and weight station in the Pediatrics Department.

“When we moved in last May, the walls were a bit bare,” she recalled. “So, I said, ‘Let’s create an atmosphere that’s safe, warm, and fun.’”

Dr. Garcia-Zepeda said she found inspiration from online images at a children’s hospital in Pennsylvania. Then she contacted Jay Murphy, Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Capital Projects East Bay team manager, who solicited proposals from local artists. The work of 3 artists, Joyce Hsu, Katy Tanis, and Cindy Potter, were chosen by a vote of the entire pediatrics team, and their paintings now adorn the walls.

“Before, when kids had their height measured, they stood against a cold steel bar,” said Dr. Garcia-Zepeda. “Now they stand next to a bear.”

Forest creatures make the doctor’s office experience a little easier.

The work caught the eye of Kaiser Permanente area leaders, including Oakland Medical Center Physician in Chief Rita Ng, MD, who called it “the epitome of providing culturally responsive care in a warm and safe environment.”

“It makes your imagination run a little wild in the best of ways,” said Dr. Ng. “I’m so proud of the pediatrics team that made this happen.”


care experience

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The paintings are such a joy to see. The walls were bare and blah, and now there are animals all over with beautiful bright colors and it makes the appointment for the children much more enjoyable. Great job, Dr. Garcia!

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