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The one hundred honoree: Greg Smith, RN

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Greg Smith, RN

Mass General Giving

Registered nurse Greg Smith’s efforts to bring beautiful art to the halls of Mass General’s Yawkey Building are just one example of his endless devotion to patients.

Greg is a staff nurse on Yawkey 8E. After a holiday party at The Paint Bar on Newbury Street, Greg asked the owner about the teacher’s paintings that were left behind at the end of every class. Surprisingly, the owners had boxes of beautiful paintings sitting in storage, untouched and unseen. This inspired Greg to come up with an idea. Working with the owner, Jill Kerner Schon and her daughter, Jackie Schon, they started The Healing Arts Program. Once every few months, the extra paintings are donated and beautifully arranged on Yawkey 8 for display. The paintings are then gifted to patients–they can walk the hallways, pick their favorite, and take it home with them. To date, 1,000 paintings have been given away.

These pieces are more than just paintings. They brighten the day of a patient who may have been dreading an infusion treatment. What’s more, they are used to open people up, and start conversations between patients and families who are having shared experiences through their cancer journey. Both Jill and Jackie have lost a loved one to cancer, and The Healing Arts Program has helped them work through this loss.

But this initiative is just one of the ways that Greg shows his deep compassion for his patients. “He always seems to be on the pulse of what patients need,” says co-worker Nisha Wali. “He is constantly innovating ideas to make the experience of patients who come to Yawkey 8E better, more efficient and most importantly, less daunting. It’s his sense of compassion and dedication to patient advocacy that sets him apart.”