Pediatric playroom at Phoebe gets makeover

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- Patients staying in the pediatric unit of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital now have a brighter, livelier environment at their disposal.

Volunteers repainted the facility's pediatric playroom, located on the second floor of the hospital.

"I was given the idea to have a community group paint the playroom," said Nurse Manager Jewell Farr. "It's just an idea I had, they did everything. They requested nothing in return."

Instead of the plain white walls that were once there, those utilizing the room can now feel the presence of an "under the sea" theme when they walk through the door.

Those that worked to make the makeover a reality say they chose to do it for a purpose bigger than themselves.

"We knew we were making it better for the children," said Jill Tanner, one of the volunteers. "We wanted it to be happy so they can forget about their sickness for a little while."

Dianne Johnson and Nancy Wade of the Georgia Artists Guild of Albany and Tanner, a volunteer at Phoebe, spent 108 hours of their time to paint the murals in the playroom.

"The time spent on this is absolutely amazing," Farr said. "It speaks a great deal to their character. This was so time intensive for them."

Farr said the bright paintings could ultimately help the healing process

for those in the unit.

"The bright colors do stimulate," she said. "Any person's atmosphere can affect their mood; it's a great contribution to their healing process."

The brighter environment is likely to benefit more visitors to the hospital than just the patients themselves, Farr said.

"I think the playroom will be utilized more," she said. "We've had lots of people come by."

The room is already in use for purposes such as visits from the Paw Patrol, a dog volunteer therapy group. There is also the possibility of the playroom eventually being used for story time, Farr said.

The makeover will not stop with the paintings themselves. There are plans in the works to do window treatments for the playroom in the future.

The murals were finished a few weeks ago. Children's Miracle Network donated the supplies for the project.