Art Project Has Rehab Patients Smiling

Quentin Palone

Quentin Palone, 16, a junior volunteer at Glen Cove Hospital, is using his artistic talents to help stroke and brain injury survivors in their recovery at the hospital’s acute rehabilitation unit.

A volunteer at the hospital’s Recreational Therapy Department for nearly three years, Quentin began by playing games with patients. Always striving to engage patients in a new way, Merav deGuzman, the hospital’s recreation therapy supervisor, created a program called “Happiness Is” aimed at helping patients express the things in life that brought them happiness. Because Quentin has an art background, Ms. deGuzman asked him to team up with patients to create drawings of activities that brought them joy.

“I drew them on horseback or in a gondola in Venice,” Quentin said. “It’s a joy to bring happy memories to patients in the hospital.”

Art Appreciation

Patricia Parmelee, an 82-year-old Glen Cove resident, met Quentin last fall when she was a patient in acute rehab.

“He’s an amazing young man, and everyone liked him and his ideas for creating personalized artwork,” Ms. Parmelee said. “I was an avid skier, so that’s what Quentin sketched. The picture is lovely.”

“This is a unique approach to recreational therapy,” Ms. deGuzman said. “The exercise builds self-esteem and helps people maintain a positive outlook during their recovery.”

Quentin, a junior at Chaminade High School, has aspirations of becoming a physician.

“When I first decided to volunteer at the hospital, I thought it would be good to be exposed to different areas of medicine and to see what doctors do,” he said. “I never dreamed I’d be part of an art project that would make such a difference in patients’ lives.”

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