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Style Magazine

Vivid Tributes

Mar 05, 2012 02:02AM ● By Style

Photos by Dante Fontana

Outside the entrance of the Cummings Emergency Pavilion at Mercy Hospital of Folsom, a colorful tile mosaic welcomes patients and their families.

The tiles are a preview of the emergency department’s interior design that features contemporary artwork and calming earth tones. Each and every tile is also a poignant tribute to a loved one, thoughtfully inscribed by a member of the community. The glass tiles have been custom-engraved with names, birthdates, anniversaries and other special messages.

“Donors provide us with wording that honors or memorializes their families, friends and other special community members,” explains Lisa Woodard-Mink, who oversees the ambitious fundraising project. “The first phase has been installed outside of the Emergency Pavilion, and it is our hope that eventually we can expand the tile panels to cover the entire front barrier wall of the hospital.” Money from the tile donations goes where it is urgently needed within Mercy’s network of charitable programs. “The funds assist under- and uninsured persons and families, providing vital services such as children’s vaccinations, charity care, eyeglasses for the homeless, chemstrips for diabetic patients, and breast cancer services,” Woodard-Mink says.

In Woodard-Mink’s role as chief philanthropy officer with Mercy Foundation, she is responsible for the fundraising efforts to support Mercy Hospital of Folsom and the two local clinics – MercyClinic Folsom (located at the campus of Theodore Judah Elementary School) and MercyClinic White Rock (located on the White Rock Elementary School campus) – that serve patients who are under- and uninsured.  


The tile campaign began as construction for the 22,410-square-foot Cummings Emergency Pavilion was being completed in 2008. Lisa Deniz – a Folsom artist with a focused talent in painting, fused glass, metal sculptures and mosaics – collaborated with other local artists to design and fabricate multiple pieces within the Emergency Pavilion. When it opened its doors to serve the community, more than 30 donor recognition sculptures decorated the ER’s lobby and private rooms.

With a passion to uphold the hospital’s funding resources, Deniz approached Mercy Foundation with the tile donation concept for the building’s exterior. They were delighted to continue Deniz’s vision. The compilation of light, color and texture in the tile mosaics is a natural extension of her interior artwork.   

Deniz fabricates the tiles at her design studio in Folsom, artfully engraving each one with a unique tribute to express one’s gratitude, compassion, loss and joy. A simple name can honor a friend who gives generously to the community, or a tiny footprint and a date can welcome the birth of a child.  

The project is ongoing, with the tiles assembled in groups of 36 on steel powder-coated panels. Designed to weather the seasons and last a lifetime, the vivid tile mosaics will grace the hospital’s façade for many years to come.

Visit or call Lisa Woodward-Mink at 916-817-2407 for more informaion.