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Marian Regional Medical Center Installs Commemorative COVID-19 Artwork

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To honor Nurses Day and the start of National Nurses Week, Art piece reflective of pandemic was unveiled today in Marian Regional Medical Center’s Healing Garden

SANTA MARIA, CA – May 6, 2022 – It has been more than two years since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our local health care professionals have had time to reflect on their experience as the community’s frontline defense. To memorialize this unpresented time in health care, the Spiritual Care Department at Marian Regional Medical Center collected stories, poems, and pandemic specific items like masks and testing kits from hospital physicians, nurses, and staff to include in a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

The hospital commissioned Kathleen McKinnon, a local mixed-media paper designer, to gather the submissions from Marian staff and create an installation to commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the unique artwork was presented to hospital staff and a blessing ceremony was performed.

At the heart of the piece is a poem written by Marian Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Chad Payne. Payne began the poem at the beginning of the pandemic and only recently completed it. An excerpt from the poem reads, “Here in this place, I’m planting a prayer, whispering softly into this dead air. Lord, I am tired, I have seen too much, so many have died and it feels like enough.” 

The full poem is encompassed in a large yellow heart. At the height of the pandemic, the yellow heart became a symbol to represent those who passed away from COVID-19. Also represented in the heart are the names of loved ones of hospital staff who passed away during that period, including a nurse who lost three family members within a month, and another who suffered two miscarriages.

“This meaningful piece of art captures the thoughts, feelings, and impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our staff,” says Marian Regional Medical Center President & CEO, Sue Andersen. “It is a reminder that our health care heroes tirelessly showed up each day and bravely faced the unknown for the care of our community. We are forever grateful for their dedication and compassion.”

The COVID-19 Commemorative Artwork is mounted in the Marian Regional Medical Center Healing Garden, and area for respite and reflection.

TOP: Marian leadership and staff stand alongside the commemorative COVID-19 artwork.
2ND: COVID-19 Commemorative Art piece.
3RD: Chad Payne, author of the COVID-19 poem that sits in the center of the artwork, poses with his wife, who is also a Critical Care Unit Nurse at Marian.
4TH: Marian chaplain blesses the artwork in Marian' Healing Garden.]


About Marian Regional Medical Center

Marian Regional Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 191-bed medical center located in Santa Maria, California. The modern facility is home to a broad array of services including a level III trauma center, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a nationally recognized cardiac care center, and boasts the Central Coast’s only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program as recognized by the Commission on Cancer. Marian has been recognized for quality and patient safety and named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades®.

Marian Regional Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, and French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, comprise Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, and outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency. Learn more at


Publish date: 

Friday, May 06, 2022