Purpose

Though the creation of PPE Portraits Canada (PPC) was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, PPC hopes to make the humanization of masks and PPE Portraits the standard of practice whenever PPE is used in Canada. In addition, PPC has 2 long-term goals:​ (1) Art (2) Research.

(1) Art

Research has shown that art can heal:

  • “Art has been shown to have a calming and healing effect, which makes it a vital presence in a hospital environment.” — The Healing Impact of Art, Sally SAPEGA, Perelman School of Medicine / University of Pennsylvania Health System, May 25, 2012

  • “Observational data revealed significant reduction in restless behavior and increase in socialization. Significant reduction in noise levels was found at both sites as well.” — Impact of Visual Art on Waiting Behavior in the Emergency Department, Upali NANDA, The Center for Health Design, 2011

As such PPC aims to help heal through art, all while commemorating the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline workers, and all those

involved in providing portraits to healthcare professionals,

 

If you have an idea for an art project and/or wish to have an art installation at your institution, please contact us.

MGH's bicentennial online exhibit

Portraitures of the PPE Portrait Project in action at the Montreal General Hospital’s (MGH).

Section  “MGH TODAY 1997-2021- COVID-19 AT THE MGH”: https://mgh200.com/mgh-today/

MUHC Faces of Covid-19 Mosaic

Multi-site set of three 27 x 40’’ art installation mosaics at the Montreal General, Montreal Children's, and Royal Victoria hospitals created in collaboration with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Art and Heritage Centre. The headshots of MUHC workers form pixels that come together to create images of masked healthcare professionals: https://muhc.ca/news-and-patient-stories/news/world-smile-day-smiling-costs-nothing-and-does-world-good

The installations have the following inscription accompanying it:

"The use of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of added stress and fear in the healthcare environment. In April 2020, MUHC volunteers, inspired by Mary Beth Heffernan’s work during the 2014 Ebola epidemic, started PPE Portraits Canada, which consists of providing smiling headshot portraits that healthcare personnel can wear to reveal the smiles behind the masks.

 

This mosaic was created in collaboration with the Art and Heritage Centre of the MUHC to recognize, thank and commemorate all frontline workers and to those who contributed to the positive impact of the project. The PPE portraits of MUHC workers are featured here as pixels coming together to form the image of [Anh-Thy Le Quang, Kenneth Drummond, Geneviève Lambert], a healthcare professional at the Montreal General Hospital."

(2) Research

PPE Portraits Canada has formed a research partnership with Sunnybrook Hospital and art therapist, Ana Seara, thanks to a Practice-Based Research and Innovation (PBRI https://sunnybrook.ca/research/content/?page=sri-groups-pbr-about grant. This has led to the development of a survey whose purpose is to understand the healthcare provider/patient experience with the PPE portrait badges.

 

This is a 5-minute bilingual anonymous survey. If you are interested in collaborating with us on this survey, please contact us!

Publications by PPE Portraits Canada:

Ramendra, R., Gregory, C., Prashad, A. J., Ghahari, D., Williams, K., Sanayei, J., . . . Donovan, A. A. (2021, April). PPE Portraits Canada - Sharing the Smile behind your PPE. Canadian Federation of Medical Students - Annual Review 2021, 20-21.

https://www.cfms.org/files/annual-review/annualreview2021.pdf

Hansen-Barkun, C., Kherad, O., Donovan, A. A., Prashad A. J., & Sewitch M. J. (2022, May). Personal protective equipment portraits in the era of COVID-19. European Journal of Internal Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2022.05.026

Publications on PPE Portraits:

Baratta, J., Amano, A., Parsons, P. K., Vilendrer, S., Winter, S. G., Verano, M., . . . Brown-Johnson, C. (2021). Developing best practices for PPE portraits across 25 sites: A systematic assessment of implementation and spread of adaptations using frame. BMC Health Services Research, 21(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-021-06922-2

Brown-Johnson, C., Vilendrer, S., Heffernan, M. B., Winter, S., Khong, T., Reidy, J., & Asch, S. M. (2020). PPE portraits—a way to humanize personal protective equipment. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(7), 2240-2242. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05875-2

George, A. J., Mathew, D. E., Lazarus, E., Chichra, A., Singh, B., & Gaikwad, P. (2021). Effectiveness of self-portraits used over personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic among patients and healthcare workers. British Journal of Surgery, 108(8). doi:10.1093/bjs/znab138

Molnar-Szakacs, I., Uddin, L. Q., & Heffernan, M. B. (2021). The face behind the mask: The Future of Interpersonal Interaction. Neuron, 109(12), 1918-1920. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2021.05.030

Reidy, J., Brown-Johnson, C., McCool, N., Steadman, S., Heffernan, M. B., & Nagpal, V. (2020, November). Provider perceptions of a humanizing intervention for Health Care Workers—A survey study of PPE Portraits. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60(5). doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.08.038