ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Honoring local healthcare workers who battled the COVID-19 pandemic, an Abilene artist created a piece for Hendrick Health, to remind and thank healthcare workers for their strength and bravery. That piece of art was unveiled Wednesday at Hendrick Medical Center.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) became a way of life for healthcare workers during the pandemic. Medical director of hospice at Hendrick, Dr. Lauren Templeton, referred to her PPE as putting on the “full armor of God,” as referenced in the Bible. 

Bonnie Buchanan, friend of Dr. Templeton’s and hospice Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), came up with an inspirational image, representing the armor of God through her coworkers. 

“We recognized it and said, ‘we have to share this with the community- with all caregivers,’” Brad Holland, CEO of Hendrick Health, said. 

Holland told KTAB/KRBC the hospital had been looking for a way to show appreciation to their healthcare employees who showed up to work every day under harsh conditions.

“Art will stand the test of time,” Holland declared. 

Staff at Hendrick asked Jack Harkins, who had painted some already-hanging artwork in the hospital, to put this art piece together. 

KTAB/KRBC: “Armor of God” painting by Jack Harkins unveiled at Hendrick Medical Center, Apr. 2022

“This is just an honor,” Harkins acknowledged. “I am very honored and humbled to do this.”

Harkins said the process helped him understand the bravery healthcare workers’ had to exhibit, regardless of how they were personally feeling.  

“I really didn’t know and understand the fear and the anxiety that the nurses had,” Harkins said. 

Even if PPE is made up of paper and plastic, Harkins said their faith transformed those materials into “armor of God.” Holland said he hopes to display the art near the cafeteria, so medical staff can see it every day.

“We want to recognize the caregiver’s sacrifices,” Holland assured. “That it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

The original painting was unveiled at a ceremony Wednesday, at Hendrick Medical Center, but copies of the painting have been unveiled on all three Hendrick campuses.