Artist, patients work together to design cheery mural


Artist Mirtes Zwierzynski included patient artwork into the mural she created for the new outpatient Child and Youth Center. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services


A vibrant new mural created by a Chicago artist working with young patients welcomes visitors to the newly named Child and Youth Center in UI Health’s Outpatient Care Center.

“We wanted patients and parents to see something that would put a smile on their face, something to cheer them up but also something that they could relate to,” said Usha Raj, Children’s Hospital University of Illinois physician-in-chief.



Melissa Ruiz and son Casey Grabowski check out the new mural. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

The mural, unveiled Aug. 29, highlights the center’s focus on helping patients, from birth through 25, move comfortably into adult care. “We’ve really integrated transitional programs into our clinic, so I think the Child and Youth Center better describes who we are,” Raj said.

Artist Mirtes Zwierzynski incorporated patient artwork into the mural, meeting with patients individually. “It’s because of her empathy with children that we picked her,” Raj said.

Zwierzynski said her inspiration for the piece was to help patients and parents enjoy life, no matter where they are. “This project was a collaboration,” she said. “It wasn’t just me, it was the children.”

The Child and Youth Center mural project is supported by the advisory board of the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois, the UI Hospital Ambulatory Administration and the department of pediatrics.

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