Students' project brings nature to inspire patients

A student group's kind donation brings a bit of nature to patient rooms at UNC Children's.

Students' project brings nature to inspire patients click to enlarge Alex Mitchell and Alex Mitchell with one of the photos installed at UNC Children's.
Students' project brings nature to inspire patients click to enlarge Brandon and Alex with Gina Thompson, CNIII, who gave them a tour of the finished project.

Through the efforts of two UNC-Chapel Hill students, patient rooms at UNC Children's are being brightened with beautiful photographs of nature scenes. Students Brandon Haake and Alex Mitchell - working with the ETHIC organization and their fraternity, Pi Lambda Phi - have installed the artwork in every patient room on the seventh floor of the hospital.

The two young men wanted to raise funds for the hospital and wanted to contribute something tangible for the welfare of the patients. Their first choice was an ICEE machine but the hospital already has one of those. Jennifer McElroy, nurse manager on the patient floor, asked if the organization could brighten the patient rooms with new artwork. It was finally decided that outdoor scenes would be a good idea. The ETHIC group donated $5,100 for the project.

The photos are large, 24 inches by 36 inches, and have been printed on acrylic material so they will be easy to keep clean and sterile. The photos were installed in the rooms as they were vacated until all the patient rooms had a photo. They have been well-received and caregivers on the other patient units have inquired about artwork for their rooms. Brandon, Alex, and Brandon's mother, Carol Ann, were given a tour to see the results after the artwork was installed.

Brandon is an economics and English major from Springfield, MO, and Alex is a Psychology and Hispanic Linguistics major from Bloomington, NC. Brandon co-founded the ETHIC organization in Springfield with Nikki Shah. Brandon established an ETHIC chapter when he arrived at UNC.

ETHIC (Every Teen Helps Inspire Change) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that gives teenagers the opportunity to inspire change and create a caring and giving community. It works on the local, national, and international level. ETHIC has raised more than $70,000 for various charities. Past accomplishments include: working with pediatric patients to create paintings that were auctioned to raise money for St. Jude’s, Mercy Cancer Care Center, and Ronald McDonald House. The teen leaders also created an event to fully fund ten Nepali patients in need of life-changing surgery.

For more information on ETHIC visit their FaceBook page.