A group gathers around a newly unveiled mural, featuring the portraits of 24 female patients, outside the south entrance at Beaumont, Royal Oak,  May 1. The event kicked  off Women’s Health Month.

A group gathers around a newly unveiled mural, featuring the portraits of 24 female patients, outside the south entrance at Beaumont, Royal Oak, May 1. The event kicked off Women’s Health Month.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Beaumont unveils mural highlighting female patients

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published May 8, 2018

 Artist Desiree Kelly, of Grosse Ile, discusses the mural that she painted in her Farmington Hills studio over approximately 2 1/2 weeks at the unveiling at Beaumont, Royal Oak, May 1.

Artist Desiree Kelly, of Grosse Ile, discusses the mural that she painted in her Farmington Hills studio over approximately 2 1/2 weeks at the unveiling at Beaumont, Royal Oak, May 1.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

 Royal Oak resident Janine Krowlikowski stands beneath her portrait, flanked by Carolyn Wilson, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Beaumont Health, left, and Rosanna Morris, president of Beaumont, Royal Oak.

Royal Oak resident Janine Krowlikowski stands beneath her portrait, flanked by Carolyn Wilson, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Beaumont Health, left, and Rosanna Morris, president of Beaumont, Royal Oak.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

ROYAL OAK — On May 1, many of the 24 women whose portraits grace a new mural outside the south entrance of Beaumont, Royal Oak, helped to unveil the 8-foot-tall and 16-foot-wide triangular artwork.

Artist Desiree Kelly, of Grosse Ile, painted the mural in her Farmington Hills studio in approximately 2 1/2 weeks. The featured patients have overcome challenges including cancer, heart disease, obesity, organ failure and more.

Kelly said she was approached by the hospital about the project at the beginning of the year, and that she was able to view photos of the selected Beaumont Health patients and read their biographies beforehand, which helped guide the direction she took.

“I’m overjoyed, really. I’ve been waiting for this for months,” Kelly said. “They gave me complete creativity, so I put the composition together, sent some sketches over, and they really trusted me with this project.”

She said she tried to capture the featured women’s emotions and vibes from their photos and backstories.

Janine Krolikowski, of Royal Oak, is one of the women featured in the mural. With a family history of heart disease, she said that she and her sister, Julie Sleeman, who was present at the unveiling, both had suffered heart attacks.

Krolikowski had her heart attack at age 46 in her living room. Since she had worked at Beaumont from 1974 to 1986 in echocardiography, she knew to take an aspirin, likely saving her life, and she scheduled a visit with her doctor that day.

In 2010, she became a national spokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, completing a yearlong circuit of speaking engagements about risks and resources regarding heart disease, and she currently serves on the AHA’s executive board.

“What I love about (the mural) is it memorializes women,” Krolikowski said. “If this is up, someone is going to ask what is this all about, and that’s the key. When they see how young some of these women are, it’s incredible.”

Susan Hanchett, corporate director of brand and market development for Beaumont, said she had never cried more during a brand campaign than with the mural project.

“Every one of these women is just awesome,” she said. “The whole idea of Beaumont is to make sure people have the information and things they need to take care of themselves and their families, so we looked through their stories because we felt some of these women are just inspirations for other people to live the same kinds of lives.”

Hatchett said that each of the seven other hospitals in the Beaumont Health system would feature a replica of the mural printed on a smaller canvas, as well as postcards.

“We’re reminding women using art to take care of yourself,” she said. “We looked for a muralist because murals can show that no quit, that grit, that determination, and it’s kind of a new and unique art source.”

Rosanna Morris, president of Beaumont, Royal Oak, said that officials scheduled the event for May 1 to celebrate the first day of Women’s Health Month in May.

“This focus is near and dear to me, and I love being here at Royal Oak Beaumont,” Morris said prior to the unveiling. “Your strength and determination is an inspiration to me and to all of us, and we thank you so much for being here today.”

Carolyn Wilson, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Beaumont Health, said she was proud of Beaumont’s commitment to women’s health throughout their lives.

“We know women never quit, and neither do we,” Wilson said. “These portraits of health showcase some inspirational women that have been cared for by Beaumont. We’re honored to showcase their stories.”

The 24 women hail from the metro Detroit area, including Macomb Township, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington and Detroit.

To find out more information about each woman’s story, visit www.beaumont.org/mural.