Mural Unveiled at Blue Island Health Center
When Lorelei Pement set out to create the mural that greets visitors at the Blue Island Health Center, she wanted to make sure the community felt seen, as well as to tell the history of the building and its place within the community.
Pement believes art has the power to transform a space. She felt the strong sense of community in Blue Island. Her goal was to make everyone’s voice heard. Pement incorporated the old and new in Blue Island with motifs and landmarks from the community. The colors are meant to be soothing for the people who come into the health center. She listened to requests of the people who wanted it to depict diversity, community and togetherness.
“The colors, this is kind of my style of art that when I’m doing community murals, murals that involve a lot of people, it kind of brightens up the mood and the energy,” Pement said. The Blue Island Health Center, located at 12757 S. Western, is one of 14 Cook County Health locations throughout the County and was formerly known as Oak Forest. The Blue Island mural is the first of a series of murals that are planned for Cook County Health Centers, with support from the Cook County Health Foundation.
Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said the mural was just another way to show that Cook County was making investments to make Blue Island Health Center an inviting place for healing. The mural is the result of a survey which asked patients what would help create a healing environment. “I’m grateful to Miss Pement for her work to help make the Blue Island Health Center a welcoming place that reflects the patients and community here in Blue Island,” Preckwinkle said.
Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon said the mural shows the community engagement of Blue Island Health Center and the trust the community has with the healthcare system. She called Cook County Health system game changing and transformative.
“I am proud to be in partnership with everyone to continue the care that really follows the Cook County Strategic Plan, the Policy Roadmap. Let’s continue to work together to continue to build that trust with the community and make sure to engage the community,” Gordon said.
Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller said the mural was innovative and representative of what the people wanted to see. She highlighted the fact that students, as well as the community members, staff and patients, participated in the painting of the mural, which she said makes people feel as though they’ve contributed.
“This health system and our clinic here in Blue Island represents the true diversity of Cook County, it represents what patients want to see when they come into a health system. All of the great people who work here are really the great partners that want to build our community and make them feel safe and have them feel trusted as they visit,” Miller said, adding that the mural shows family, community and a strong healthcare system.
Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha thanked Preckwinkle for her advocacy on behalf of the Cook County Health system to advance health equity for everyone. “At Cook County Health, we are positioning ourselves to be a leader and provider in World Class Healthcare and that starts with seeing and understanding our patients, inviting them into our community and making comprehensive community spaces, where healing is much more than the medicine that we advance,” Rocha said.
For more information about Cook County Health, visit cookcountyhealth.org.
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