New monument of St. Elizabeth of Hungary unveiled
05 / 17 / 2006
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
APPLETON, Wis. – A monument of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the namesake for Appleton’s first hospital, was unveiled May 17 at the dedication and blessing of the 50,000-square-foot addition of
The sculpture, located in the healing garden on the hospital’s grounds, was created by Rob Neilson, assistant professor of Art at Lawrence University.
Elizabeth, born in 1207 to the King of Hungary, was given in marriage to Ludvig IV, son of the Landgrave Herman of Thuringia in 1221. Elizabeth dedicated her life to God and helping the poor and infirmed. Following her death in 1231, she was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1235. On Nov. 19, 1899, the feast day of St. Elizabeth, four Franciscan Sisters founded
The sculpture unveiled May 17 combines realism and abstraction, innovation and tradition, movement and the static, contemplation and action, the heavenly sublime and real world humanity, according to Neilson. “This is meant to pay homage to St. Elizabeth’s extraordinary compassion for the sick and poor while acknowledging her regal status,” he says.
The sculpture consists of a marble bust of St. Elizabeth resting on steel beams attached to the ground. “The elevated placement of St. Elizabeth’s head is designed to address her saintliness lifting heavenward,” Neilson says. “The piece is visually well grounded, physically attached to the earth as a way of celebrating her deep commitment to the sick and hungry.”
Neilson was trained at the College for Creative Studies and has a master’s in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In addition to his many gallery exhibitions and installations, Neilson has received public art commissions from the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority and the city of Long Beach Transit Authority.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.