Monday, November 14, 2011

Portrait Unveiling, Dr Mel Cohen

On November 10, my posthumous portrait of Dr Melvin L Cohen, pediatric nephrologist and remembered as the "Father of Phoenix Children's Hospital",  was unveiled at the hospital's Cohen Conference Center. I have known and loved Mel and his wife Mickey for 28 years, and in the process of creating the portrait came to know their children Tammie, Ellen, Jan, and Joe.

The portrait is a composite of many aspects of Dr Cohen's life, created as a collaboration between family members and myself. It includes Mel's favorite paisley tie, the flag pin and the pearl tie tack he wore every day. He holds his medical school yearbook, the Hippocratean from 1954; one of the things I learned about Mel during the process was that he was an artist himself, creating the woodcut and pen and ink drawings that pepper the yearbook pages. On the shelf behind him are a clock given to him by Phoenix Children's Hospital is recognition of his extraordinary service, and a small replica of one of the remote controlled airplanes that he built and flew. The chair in which Dr Cohen sits was given to him by the medical education program he founded, and is handmade of three different types of wood.

The portrait will hang in the main lobby of the new Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Below a pic of Mickey and me.

Above,with Barbara Raines, my dear friend, and overall person extraordinaire...we were two of the early administrators hired to orchestrate the opening of Phoenix Children's Hospital in 1983. And no, we didn't coordinate our outfits:)


  1. What is so outstanding is the obvious long-time dedication and support of such a worthwhile cause in Chris' local community. There must be great appreciation to have such a likeness of Dr. Cohen to share with all those who work so hard to bring about better health care conditions and methods of treatment.

    Burton Danet, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist (retired)
    Co-Founder, ABC4All Portal4Relief

  2. What a lovely portrait! Wonderful thoughtful expression.