Local artist honors VA healthcare workers with painting

Local News

An artist in the Quad Cities is thanking healthcare workers by showcasing his talent.

Ted McElhiney is well known for his bronze sculptures in Davenport like the Bix 7 runners. He picked up his brush in March and painted nurses to honor the Davenport VA employees. A doctor learned about the piece and decided to buy it to ultimately donate it to the outpatient clinic. 

Cindy McGee, the clinic manager, said the pandemic has been tough for their workers, but they have persevered. 

“Our clinic has gone through and faced many challenges. And we’ve faced them head on,” she said. 

Their frontline healthcare workers received thank you cards for their hard work today and the special painting by McElhiney. 

“I do appreciate the clinic very much,” McElhiney said. 

The painting features three nurses wearing masks and halos. He said it is his way of saying thank you for their hard work during this hard time. 

“I have been a patient here for 40 years, and they have been such a good thing for me,” he said. 

Dr. Ananda Reddy has seen him as a patient. He wanted to present the painting to highlight the employees’ hard work.

“My way of definitely saying thank you for all the hard work all the team does. They work hard,” he said. “Anytime I ask them for a hand to help a veteran, they come with a smile and that is what impresses me.”

The pandemic has presented many challenges for the workers, but they continue to stay positive. 

“Change is always stressful for everybody,” McGee said. “[But] we’ve never stopped taking care of our veterans throughout this pandemic.”

She said the gift means so much to her as someone who works first-hand with the nurses and staff. 

“This depicts [them] perfectly and what they have gone through this year,” she said. “They are angels.”

The painting will be on display in the clinic’s lobby. 

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