NYC Health + Hospitals on Oct 25, 2023, unveiled a new mural as part of the Community Mural Project, run by the health system’s Arts in Medicine department. Today’s mural, Together We Heal at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health, was developed by artist Kristy McCarthy through a series of focus groups with community members, staff and patients and brought to life at a paint party where the community was invited to paint the mural together. Together We Heal is one of nine new murals that have been created this year, building on the 26 murals created in the first wave of the Community Mural Project. The first 26 murals are featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
Together We Heal is a two-part mural that pays homage to the vibrant history and culture of Coney Island. Located in the waiting room of the adult emergency department, the first section of the mural, includes rabbits, which originally inhabited the area and gives Coney Island its name. The mural pays tribute to the hospital’s origins as a modest beachfront first aid station; the hospital’s Hammett Pavilion, which is set for demolition this year; and the newly constructed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospital. Throughout this narrative, depictions of unity and assistance emerge, where children make a sandcastle and healing hands guide an elderly patient towards the hospital entrance. At the heart of the mural stands a compassionate doctor, sheltering her patient beneath an umbrella—a symbol of weathering storms together.
The second section of the mural, located in the waiting room of the pediatric emergency department, portrays an enchanting underwater realm. It nods to the nearby New York Aquarium as a source of tranquility for patients. A mermaid, an iconic figure in Coney Island folklore, gently comforts her child. Surrounding them, turtles, dolphins, and fish gracefully navigate the waters, creating an atmosphere of unity, serenity, and healing. “Coney Island and its multicultural community are rich in lore and legend,” said Laurie Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “Together We Heal celebrates the diversity of the community and the staff’s compassionate care for patients. It will bring joy and solace to all who enter the facility and we are proud to have supported its creation.”