The COVID pandemic brought to light the long hours, challenges and sacrifices healthcare workers and support staff have long endured to serve their communities. Their stories are the subject of “Healthcare is Human,” a new exhibit at WVU Health Sciences Center.
Humanities Center extends an open invitation to the
opening of “Healthcare is Human” on September 25 from 3-5 p.m. in the Okey
Patteson Auditorium and the Health
Sciences Center Pylons Commons.
will include the debut of a short film about “Healthcare Is Human” and a panel
discussion, followed by a reception. Those
who cannot attend in person may attend via Zoom with preregistration.
is Human’ started as a modest project, but today has immense dreams of helping
to reshape our understanding of who and what matters in healthcare,” Dr. Ryan
McCarthy, a primary care physician in
Martinsburg, W.Va., said. “From the
perspective of a single story told in one’s own words and images, we hope to
shine a light on a wider view of our common experience.”
In the spring of 2020, McCarthy stopped
an elevator door from closing in the Berkeley Medical Center (BMC) to ask two other
people who worked there how they were holding up. In his rendition of the
story, this led not only to a 20-minute conversation, but was the genesis of
his healthcare storytelling project.
While “Healthcare Is Human” was born
of COVID, it reframes the approach of gathering the stories of healthcare well
beyond the pandemic.
Collaborating with portrait
photographer Molly Humphreys, McCarthy set out to create an outlet that
showcased his home hospital by elevating the stories and pictures of those who
work there – not just physicians and nurses, but all workers, from security
guards, administrative support, cafeteria workers, janitors and beyond.
The Humanities Center is partnering
with McCarthy, Humphreys and their other creative partners to bring “Healthcare
Is Human” to the Morgantown Campus and beyond. A yearlong photo exhibit, paired
with poems from West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and other West
Virginia poets, will be on display in the Pylons Commons for the 2023-2024
The exhibit, video and programming
were made possible in part from James M. Shumway & Lizbeth A. Pyle Health
Humanities Fund, Phalunas Family Health Sciences Museum Endowment, and the
Betty Lou Ramsey and Effie Lucille Ramsey Fund.
Humanities Center and its partners, Art in the
and the William A. Neal Museum of the Health Sciences, in collaboration with WVU
Health Sciences Center are excited to share this inspiring work.
In addition, the Neal Museum is collecting stories and items for a companion exhibit. For more information read this article.