Therapeutic ceiling tiles help put patients at ease in Lee County hospitals

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- There are few places more emotional than the hospital. The fear, the uncertainty, the waiting and worrying.

But now, a group of generous artists in the Lee Memorial Health System is trying to make your experience better and brighter.

Decorative designs dot the ceilings at HealthPark Medical Center in south Fort Myers.  Beautiful blue skies, mermaids, unicorns and captivating colors create a wonderful world of art.

“Staring at an image that makes you feel like you’re at the beach, or outside looking at a skyscape, it’s just a healthy good distraction,” said Doug MacGregor.

A distraction from what can be scary and uncertain moments in the hospital. That’s why once a month, the volunteer artists come together to brush away your fears.

“I’m doing a sunset now here,” said Plato Pavis.

Chances are if you walk along the halls, you’ll come across his work. At 95 years young, he’s changing lives one brush stroke at a time.

“I love to paint and I’ve been painting since the 30s! Can you believe that?”

He pours his passion onto each canvas.

“They’re laying in a gurney looking up on the floor, and they want to see colors,” said Pavis. “I’ve been there when they say, ‘oh my gosh is that beautiful, look at all the colors.'”

For art student Wes Fitch, it’s a way to use the power of a paintbrush to put patients at ease.

“Hopefully it gives them hope for the future, something outside of where they’re at right now,” said Fitch.

There are hundreds of them, from hearts in cardiology to cartoons for kids.

“It’s important, it’s really important to help other people,” said Pavis. “When I see their smile on their face, I walk away and say ‘I’m happy, I made someone happy today.”

Pavis has painted nearly three dozen tiles alone. You can find them at all four hospitals in the Lee Memorial Health System, as well as several outpatient centers.

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