The inaugural class of the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health MD Program students began painting a portion of a mural Tuesday afternoon in support of ruOK Berks?, the Berks County Suicide Prevention Task Force.
The theme of the 45-foot-tall mural is “hope” and was designed by local artist Gregory Didyoung. When complete, the mural will be displayed on Franklin Street in the City of Reading.
The activity is part of the medical students’ orientation week to introduce them to the community that they will not only live in, but also serve for the next four years on their path to becoming physicians.
“Being a part of something to help reduce suicide, and the stigma surrounding it, is critically important,” said Karen Restifo, MD, JD, regional vice dean , Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health. “We’ve made a promise to the community that our students and faculty will be dedicated to the health and well-being of the community and this project is a clear demonstration of that commitment.”
The medical students are one of several community groups to contribute to the mural. The goal is to engage as many individuals as possible to help spread the word about services provided by ruOK Berks?.
Prior to painting, the medical students took a walking tour through West Reading with local artist Michael Miller to learn more about his connection to public art and the collection of murals that have been created in West Reading and the Greater Reading community.
Miller added, “I live in the area and have been fascinated watching the progress of the school’s construction. It’s such an honor to be a part of this event.”
Sue Perrotty, Tower Health President and CEO noted, “We are so pleased to welcome the inaugural class of students to our community and as part of the Tower Health family. In their second day on campus they are already giving back to their new community. We are so lucky to have individuals of this caliber joining us in Berks County.”