The Power of the Portrait: How the PPE Portrait Project Humanizes Ebola Protective Gear

When it comes to caring for ebola patients, a caregiver’s first thought may not necessarily be “How do I look in my personal protective equipment?” Also known as PPE, the protective suits themselves look like the frightening set costume one may see Walter White wearing in Breaking Bad. They’re disturbing. And for a patient already suffering the effects of ebola, the psychological effects of not being able to see your provider’s face can be particularly unsettling.

Artist Mary Beth Heffernan had an idea to solve this problem – put portraits of the healthcare workers on the PPE to humanize the whole health care process for the ebola patient. Heffernan calls her idea “stupidly simple” but it was exactly this kind of out of box thinking that captured the essence of the care taker and provide some relief for the person suffering. We call this idea “Brilliantly Simple”.

PPR Project_Mary Beth Heffernan_Highlighted on Cycle Technologies BSB – photo, Marc Campos

Take a look at the following articles below to read more about Heffernan’s efforts with the PPE Portrait Project. Her simple idea should inspire all of us to think a little more compassionately about patient care.