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2010 Press Releases
Murals Helping Comfort Pediatric Patients At Mease Countryside Hospital

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla., (Nov. 15, 2010) ¾ Aquatic-themed mural-sized paintings are helping the Mease Countryside Hospital emergency department alleviate what can be a stressful environment for children.

The murals are located in four emergency department rooms at the hospital, rooms designated for young patients. They were painted with the goal of being a soothing and calming influence on children and their families while being treated at the hospital.

The project comes as Mease Countryside has seen a growth in pediatric emergency room visits, with pediatric patients making up nearly 20 percent of ER visits to the hospitals.

"These amazing murals appeal to all ages, so they are great for pediatric patients and adults," said Lou Galdieri, Mease Countryside COO and administrator. "We've had an amazing response from patients that have said they provided a calming distraction while in an otherwise unsettling environment."

The murals were painted by local artist Steve Spathelf. The funds for the project were donated by Joe and Anna Kokolakis.

The mural-sized paintings are part of Mease Countryside's continuing commitment to children's care. Last year, the hospital entered a partnership with St. Joseph's Children's Hospital called St. Joseph's Children's at Morton Plant Mease.

The partnership includes emergency services and neonatal intensive care units at Mease Countryside and Morton Plant hospitals and enhanced 15-bed, private inpatient children's unit at Mease Countryside Hospital. Plans call for Morton Plant Mease to expand their offerings of classes and community events advocating health, prevention and wellness for children.

About Mease Countryside Hospital

Established in 1985, Mease Countryside Hospital is a 300-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. Since 1997 Mease Countryside has been awarded nine Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of stroke, orthopedic, intensive care and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Benchmarks for Success.

In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Mease Countryside Hospital is located at 3231 McMullen Booth Rd., Safety Harbor, Fla.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is the largest community-based health system in the region, providing expert medical care for a patient's lifetime. Comprised of hospitals and numerous affiliated services, the system connects patients to a complete range of services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Together, BayCare organizations seek to advance the health of their patients and their communities. 

Member hospitals are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Women's, St. Joseph's Hospital North and South Florida Baptist. On the web:


Contact: Communications  

Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone (727) 402-8113 Pager

Jim Scavino (727) 462-7246 Phone (727) 402-5976 Pager