Walt Whitman student beautifies Inova Mount Vernon’s emergency department

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Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s emergency department has some newly decorated ceiling tiles to cheer up nervous young patients in pediatric exam rooms, thanks to the initiative of a local eighth grader.

Catherine Stankewick, a Walt Whitman Middle School student and Girl Scout with Cadette Troop 862, spent part of her winter break sprucing up the appearance of the five rooms with the help of students at Fort Hunt Elementary. As part of a project to earn her Silver Award — the second highest award in Girl Scouts — Stankewick taught the students some painting techniques and joined them in decorating a total of 17 ceiling tiles with cheerful and comforting images.

The tiles already have been fully installed, according to an Inova Mount Vernon spokesperson.

“We are proud to be Catherine’s first art gallery and to have her paintings bring comfort and joy to the over 4,000 children treated annually in our ED,” said Megan Cooke, regional donor relations advisor at Inova Health System.