Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary chemotherapy and infusion suite
Lee Emma Running, associate professor, Grinnell College
When Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) developed a new chemotherapy and infusion suite, it teamed up with architect Kevin White and Lee Emma Running, artist and associate professor of art at Grinnell College, to create a healing environment for patients and families. The artist and architect worked together on the color scheme, lighting, flooring and a healing theme. The result is a beautiful and open space with a fresh design. The room is flooded with natural light and botanical imagery. Running’s art installation, “Hydrangea Variations,” uses hydrangea flowers as its primary motif. This common flowering plant in Iowa brings a sense of healing and wholeness.
The 200-foot hallway to the chemotherapy suite features a three-dimensional mural of painted flowers and hand-cut silhouettes. The mural interplays object, light, paint and shadow. The imagery continues inside the waiting room and into patient spaces where the windows are etched with delicate floral patterns, suggesting an unseen botanical element from beyond the room. For Effie Hall, former chemotherapy patient, the space made a difference in her recovery. “Being diagnosed with cancer is scary,” Hall says. “The trepidation quickly disappeared as I walked into the GRMC chemo unit. The art and the space of the chemotherapy infusion suite helped to turn my chemo treatment into a life-changing experience. I felt like I entered not a hospital wing, but a modern sanctuary.”