On Wednesday, May 12, Warner Bros. presented Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center with artwork at the hospital as a gesture of gratitude for their arduous efforts throughout the hardships of COVID-19.
The event marked the continuation of a longstanding partnership between Warner Bros. and St. Joe’s, and was held to honor the healthcare heroes at the hospital. Several Warner Bros. cartoonists created the original art pieces for St. Joe’s, which include images of The Powerpuff Girls, DC Comics characters, and Bugs Bunny. The artworks all conveyed the theme of fighting COVID to represent the courageous work of St. Joe’s staff in aiding the sick throughout the entirety of the pandemic.
May 9 kicked off National Hospital Week and Wednesday was International Nurses Day, making it a fitting time for Warner Bros. to extend their gratitude to hospital staff members. Amongst those in attendance to introduce the artwork was Warner Bros. President of Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, Tom Ascheim, who joined the Saint Joseph Foundation Board in the fall of 2020.
“It was a really fun experience,” St. Joe’s Director of Communications, Kirsten Holguin, said of the event. “Staff members took pictures of the artwork and with the artwork…It’s a pretty unique opportunity being located in Burbank and having this great support from Warner Brothers.”
St. Joe’s RN Nursing Manager of 5 South Sepsis Telemetry, Chris Rice, has remained a lifelong Batman fan since his first purchase of a DC Comic Book at age 11. Today, his garage houses 34 boxes of Batman memorabilia, and he owns 192 Batman-related action figures. Rice was eager to see Batman included in the DC Comics drawing from cartoonists at Warner Bros. In addition, he found the gesture especially meaningful following tough times in caring for St. Joe’s patients.
“Warner Brothers has been a really strong supporter of the hospital,” Rice said. “So… when I [heard about] the art…[I said], ‘Oh, I have to go see that.’… It was a nice way to give a little back to those as they’ve gotten through a really, really difficult year.”
Furthermore, the presentation was significant for staff due to Ascheim choosing to be physically present at the event.
“It was a nice show and… It meant a lot that [Ascheim] was there,” Rice said. “It’s one thing to make a few phone calls and have a truck deliver some stuff, but to actually actually come over there and talk to us and be with us and express his appreciation,…it does mean a lot.”
All of the donated art pieces will continue to be on display inside the medical center in the future. The writings on the drawing include positive phrases such as “St. Joe’s Heroes Stamp Out COVID,” and “Heroes Come in Many Forms, Thank you Providence Saint Joseph Caregivers.” These serve as a reminder for St. Joe’s staff that they are valued and appreciated by the Burbank community.