The Inspired Gift of Sofia’s Art
Nearly two years ago, Sofia Sawchuk, a sophomore at Northport High School, decided to spend some of her summer break by volunteering at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. It was then that Director of Public Affairs and Volunteers Heather Reynolds, took an inventory to see what interested Sofia, to ensure she had the most optimal volunteer experience.
“We have a very robust volunteer program at St. Catherine of Siena, with more than 200 active members, and when we can, we try to customize the experience for each individual,” said Mrs. Reynolds. During the inventory, Sofia shared her love of art and design. With Sofia’s help, Mrs. Reynolds started an internal employee photo competition, along with a specialized project to bring the hospital’s mission to life through inspired art.
St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is a proud member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island (CHS). CHS is driven by the core mission—to humbly join together to bring Christ’s healing mission and the mission of mercy of the Catholic Church expressed in Catholic health care to our communities. The mission is furthered defined by specific values—I-CARE. Each letter is representative of a core value, I-integrity, C-compassion, A-accountability, R-responsibility, and E-excellence. These collective values define the way in which every staff member delivers care to every patient, every time.
In a special gathering, held on February 15, 2019, hospital senior administration, department directors, board members, and community leaders, gathered to witness the reveal of the special artwork designed by Sofia. In a special blessing, Director of Pastoral Care Elizabeth Meehan stated, “we pray that others will be blessed by this artwork and united to live the I-CARE values—in everything we say and do.”
When speaking to what inspired Sofia, she said, “I thought about the mission statement and I considered what images would best marry to each piece. The design is what they mean to me and how they would speak to others who may visit the hospital.” Sofia first sketched each image and with the help of her friend, LeeAnn Chu (who could not attend the event), was able to digitize them. The digitized process allowed her to soften colors and add each individual value. The outcome—art that inspires an organizational mission. As Sofia gazed at the beautifully framed artwork, she said softly, “I am so thrilled to see the project come to life.”
Parents of Sofia, Mr. Ken and Mrs. Denise Sawchuk, were at the art reveal—beaming with pride that their daughter had a hand in something so meaningful at their community hospital. Mr. Sawchuk, a seasoned photo journalist, now Newsday photo editor, shared his contentment as he snapped shots of Sofia admiring the mission-driven artwork. “We are very, very proud of her and feel so humbled that she spent her time doing something so powerful,” said Mrs. Sawchuk.
The new I-CARE values artwork installation, designed by Sofia Sawchuk, is now on display in the Executive Board Room in the Medical Office Building. President of St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital Jim O’Connor, was in attendance and commented, “They really are beautiful—thank you Sofia for your valuable time, effort and creativity—and for bringing such lovely perspective to the hospital’s mission.”
Sofia is now a senior at Northport High School, interested in majoring in chemistry, and is currently reviewing several acceptance letters. And though she would not reveal where she would be going in the fall just yet, she firmly expressed they had to have an awesome ice hockey team. “We are thankful to Sofia and wish her continued success in her very bright future,” said Mrs. Reynolds.
For more information about volunteering at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, please call (631) 870-3444