Sentara Martha Jefferson HealthWise: Baby Wall
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Sentara Martha Jefferson Baby Wall is a creation of the Martha Jefferson Foundation and is a way for parents to welcome their new baby by inscribing their name and birth date outside the Mother-Baby Unit at the hospital.
Turtles represent the journey through life and the children who start their journey at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.
"Turtles represent a journey that's very enduring and lasting and of course your relationship with your children as they come into the world is enduring and the thing that connects all of that is love," said Meredith McKown, a local artist.
She created the photographs on the wall surrounding the turtles.
"It was one of our temporary gallery installations, and I was so taken by the beauty of her pictures, I thought they shouldn't just be a temporary exhibition. Let's bring them to the hospital as a permanent installation," said Kimberly Skelly, Executive Director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation.
McKown, a former nurse in the unit, says the project was a dream come true.
"The opportunity to bring a little love and funding to the people here on this unit is just an opportunity that I could not resist," she said.
McKown says she and the hospital prioritized diversity in the photos selected, and all of the babies featured were born at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.
"I wanted the photographs to demonstrate love and connection and to be natural, not posed and so I just started going through all my work and all of their families here started their journeys here at our community hospital, and many of them are connected to the hospital in some way," McKown said.
Additionally, 100 percent of monetary gifts through the baby wall stay right in Central Virginia.
"Scholarships for our nurses to go back to school, to special resiliency programs, to support their mental and emotional health, to rocking chairs for mothers comforting their children in our special care nursery, every gift supports those types of initiatives and stays local to support of people here in our community," Skelly said.
McKown says supporting the community hospital was important.
"Healthy loving communities create healthy loving families and healthy loving families create healthy loving communities," she said.
Turtles cost $250 for a loggerhead turtle, $500 for a green turtle, or $1,000 for a leatherback turtle.
For more information or to purchase a turtle, click here.