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Patient thanks clinic with art

WILLMAR — A thank-you note probably would have been enough, but Deb Shriver wanted to do more to show her gratitude to the doctors at Affiliated Community Medical Centers who have cared for her and her family.

So she commissioned a one-of-a-kind work of art.

The watercolor by Renville artist Dona Larkin, depicting the ACMC clinic building in Willmar, was officially presented on Tuesday. The framed original will hang in the ACMC lobby.

Limited-edition prints were given to one of Shriver’s longtime physicians, Dr. Glenn Buchanan, and to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Haas, who set a broken arm last summer for Sloan, the 7-year-old daughter of Shriver and her husband, Bruce Stahnke.

“How do you say thank you to a clinic? We’re very, very grateful for the good medical care we have received,” Shriver said.

The gift was partly inspired by the retirement earlier this year of Buchanan, a reproductive endocrinologist. Shriver said she was a patient of Buchanan’s for almost

30 years and one of his biggest fans.

“I can’t even imagine life without him. I will miss him horribly,” she said.

The family was similarly impressed by Haas when Sloan fell from some monkey bars and broke two bones in her left forearm last summer. Surgery was a distinct possibility but then Haas arrived in the Rice Memorial Hospital emergency room, saw the patient and was able to set her arm then and there.

“Because of him, she didn’t need surgery,” Shriver said.

When Sloan was a little scared of having some medical images taken of her arm, Haas took her by the hand and walked with her to the imaging department, Shriver said. “He stood right by her. I’ve never seen a doctor do anything so awesome.”

This wasn’t the first time she commissioned a painting a local medical provider. She has also given them to Family Practice Medical Center and Rice Memorial Hospital.

Larkin, the artist, titled her watercolor “Last Appointment of the Day.” She said she wanted it to be upbeat. In the foreground there’s a green Volkswagen. In the background, various patients — both children and adults — are coming and going. Viewers who look closely can see a personal touch: Sloan’s miniature dachshund on the sidewalk to the right of the clinic’s main entrance.

“She made it beautiful,” Shriver said of Larkin’s painting.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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