Local artist Susan Opie donated whimsical metal sculptures to complement the tranquil setting around the St. Luke’s Anderson Campus. Her creations adorn the garden, located behind the Cancer Center, including the walking path encircling a large pond. The humorous, quirky aspect to her work offers a unique visual experience and lightens the mood for patients and families who may be dealing with very serious issues while visiting the campus.
“The Susan Opie sculptures have been a wonderful addition to the St. Luke’s Anderson Campus Garden,” says Gail Evans from the St. Luke’s Development Department. “Visitors can now enjoy the relaxing and soothing sounds of nature while benefiting from the therapeutic value of art. Susan’s donation has made a meaningful impact on our efforts to promote hope and healing through the arts.”
As a child, Susan Opie always had a connection with animals and nature so those elements became a big theme in her artwork. “We live on a planet bursting with life and energy and I want my sculptures to reflect this vitality and to be as lively as possible,” explains Susan. “Appreciating the wonders of nature and creating art to share that beauty and wonder with others is very important to me.”
Patients and families at St. Luke’s Anderson campus are often struggling with very serious situations. Art can allow the observer a way to escape their own circumstances, even if only temporarily, which can help their coping skills. Appreciating and reflecting on art can help with introspection, improve mood, help with expressing emotions and decrease anxiety and stress.
“Research suggests that art sparks the same positive effect on the brain as looking at a loved one,” shares Evans. “In short, art makes us feel good which is why we are making efforts to incorporate art into the care we provide to our patients.”
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About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.