Sunnie the Stork is surrounded by Highland Community Hospital Administration, members of the Labor and Delivery staff and Hattiesburg artist Kym Garraway-Braley. Dr. Cynthia Jean-Pierre, an obstetrician/gynecologist, cut the ribbon. Also pictured is Dr. Kevin Galloway, OB/GYN
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (June 4, 2021) Thanks to the creative talent of Hattiesburg artist, Kym Garraway-Braley, Highland Community Hospital’s Labor and Delivery Department in Picayune welcomed two new additions recently. A freelance artist for more than 40 years, Garraway-Braley put her talent to work and created two murals to promote the Labor and Delivery services offered at the hospital. The murals also have a special meaning to Garraway, who as a preemie, was placed in a single NICU incubator where she had an extended stay. “Obviously, I made it and successfully caught up,” she said. “Being able to highlight this area is special.”
HCH Chief Nursing Officer, Suzanne Wilson, said the idea to have the murals commissioned came about during meetings where staff expressed interest in promoting the services offered by the hospital to the community.
“Highland was familiar with some of the work I’ve done at several other hospitals including Forrest General,” said Garraway-Braley. “They just wanted some fun on the walls to be able to promote the love they have for the community and to encourage expecting moms to come and have their babies here.”
One wall of the waiting room features Sunnie, a vibrantly-colored stork, which provides a great opportunity where new parents can take their first family photos. The other side of the room showcases the “Life’s Little Miracles” mural, which features a large tree. At the base of the tree there are woodland creatures, such as a rabbit, raccoon and opossum. Parents can have a child’s name and birthdate added to a leaf or animal when they donate to the Highland Community Hospital Foundation. More animals will be added in the future and specific animals can be requested. Garraway-Braley will return to the hospital on a quarterly basis to add the names and dates purchased by parents. Funds generated from the purchase of leaves and animals will benefit the HCH Foundation, which will provide educational services for nurses in the Labor and Delivery departments.
A ribbon cutting was held recently to unveil the murals.
Designed and painted by Garraway-Braley, the murals only took about two days to complete. “Art is my peace, a gift from God, and I feel His pleasure when I paint,” she said. ”I love what I do, and it just happens to be my vocation at the same time.”
A friend of Forrest General, more of Garraway-Braley’s work can be seen in several areas of the hospital, including in the Family Birthplace lobby, the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation mural on the fourth floor of the hospital between Labor and Delivery and Post-Partum, and the ceiling of the first-floor entrance near the Emergency Department. More of Garraway’s work can be found in patient rooms at Lincoln Road Children’s Clinic; the “Let There Be Light” mural, which is painted on the side of the parking garage in downtown Hattiesburg; and the Fourth Street mural depicting Hattiesburg’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy.
About Highland Community Hospital’s Labor and Delivery Services: Highland’s Family Birth Center provides a family-centered option for a patient’s childbirth experience. They offer private labor and delivery rooms with birthing beds, surgical suites and a recovery room. Labor, delivery and recovery occur in the same rooms for a patient’s comfort and ease of transition. Birthing coaches, who may stay with the patient throughout the labor and delivery process, are welcomed. For more information, visit https://www.forresthealth.org/our-locations/highland-community-hospital/.