Patients at a New York City hospital hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic are finally getting a glimpse of the faces behind the PPE.
Mount Sinai Hospital has turned its main lobby on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side into a portrait gallery to honor dozens of healthcare workers who put their lives on the line every single day to treat COVID-19 patients. As a way of saying thanks, artist Rebecca Moses painted tributes to the nurses who continue to work as the city tries to overcome another surge in cases.
Moses started out just painting portraits of women who were stuck at home trying to minimize the spread, but then someone reached out and asked her to paint a portrait of their sister, who is a nurse.
"I said, 'wow, I would love to paint her and honor her,'" Moses recalled.
That nurse was Linda Valentino, a nurse executive at Mount Sinai.
"It was very meaningful and personal, given what I was asked to do and how I was serving our patients and supporting our nurses," Valentino said.
Moses' project grew from there and she painted colorful portraits of 46 nurses out of the 8,000 in the hospital system. In each portrait, the illustrator and fashion designer aimed to show more than just a person in scrubs.
"I wanted to see them. I wanted them to really be clear and show their individuality, show their brain and show the power of them," Moses said.
Tinea White feels that's exactly how she feels a person who chose a career in nursing.
"The painting itself showed power, showed strength," White said, adding that she feels like a hero every time she walks into Mount Sinai. "I got to tap into potential that we never knew that we had."