Even before its re-birth in 2003, River Hospital has received community support of many types and forms. Recently, the hospital’s River Community Wellness Program was the beneficiary of that support in the form of river-oriented art newly installed in therapists offices. With the generous, combined efforts of the Michael Ringer Galleries and the annual Thousand Islands International Charity Poker Run, patients now have twelve colorful representations of the Thousand Islands to enhance their experience.
The River Community Wellness Program offers outpatient therapy for children, adolescents and adults. Staff members include licensed therapists and prescribers who have specific education and training in mental health services, addressing issues that may range from difficulties at school to depression and adjustment to life’s stressors. Individual, family and group therapy, and even couples counseling, are among behavioral health services offered.
The addition of artwork was conceived as a means of softening the clinical appearance of therapy facilities, which are located in the hospital’s Medical Office Building. Stephanie Weiss, River Hospital’s Executive Director of Development, recalls, “We observed that the facilities in which services are performed were rather austere. Hoping to help patients feel more welcomed and comfortable, we conceived the idea of adding beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River. Michael Ringer Galleries helped us to acquire the art at very generous pricing. ”
“Stephane first contacted me with the idea in 2021,” says Marcia Ringer Topa, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Michael Ringer Galleries, and daughter of artist Michael Ringer. “At her request, we selected twelve, limited edition pieces, each signed, numbered, and printed on canvas. The prints range in size from two to three feet in height and four to five feet long. Nature-based, they depict calm, peaceful scenes.”
She continues, “I tried to envision myself as a patient, and made selections accordingly. River Hospital offers services vital to our community, and our community has been consistently supportive of the hospital. We are honored to have this art installed, and hopeful that it helps to offer comfort for patients.”
The new art was paid for in substantial part through the generosity of the 1000 Islands International Charity Poker Run. Robert Cantwell, the organization’s President, says, “The Poker Run is a grass-roots, volunteer-driven event dedicated to the charitable needs and economic development of the Thousand Islands Region. Last summer over 100 boats, from all over the United States and Canada, arrived in Clayton to participate. Our charitable donations are made possible by our generous sponsors, through participant registration fees, a live auction and sales of articles in connection with the event.”
“When we received River Hospital’s request for funding, we carefully considered the potential benefits of having the artwork installed. We feel that this project is entirely consistent with our mission to benefit the community. We believe that it offers the right vehicle to help the right people.”
Bradley Frey, River Hospital’s Director of Behavioral Health Services, is pleased with the positive effect that the artwork is already having. “When we moved into the new Medical Office Building, integrating art work that added warmth to the clinical areas became an area of focus. We were excited about the possibility of bringing images that reflected the serenity, peace and beauty of the river to assist individuals in their wellness journey. The Thousand Island International Charity Poker Run has been supportive of River Community Wellness Program since its inception, and we deeply appreciate our relationship that has developed over the years. We’re very thankful to both the Charity Poker Run and the Michael Ringer Gallery for their generosity in helping to make our space more comfortable for those seeking care.”
For more information on services offered through the River Community Wellness Program, please contact River Hospital at 315-482-1277.