Manhattan pediatric clinic blends medicine and art

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | January 09, 2015
The All City Free
Radicals exhibit
At first glance it appears Dr. Juan Tapia, a well-known New York City pediatrician, and Hugo Martinez, a gallery owner and urban art expert, don't have much in common. But the two co-direct the All City Foundation, a community-based arts and health collaborative, which opened its new Free Radicals exhibition at its combined art gallery and pediatric clinic in Upper Manhattan late last week.

The 10,000-square-foot clinic located in the former Claremont Theater took seven years to complete. It's adorned with artwork from graffiti artists from around the U.S. and the patients can lounge on gray cushions wrapped with blue and green straps as they wait for their appointment.

"Art and science are one," Tapia, told DOTmed News. "When people come into the clinic, healing begins with the visual." He noted that the children identify with the artwork and it puts them at ease, making treatment, and everyone's work, that much easier.

Tapia has another clinic, also in Upper Manhattan, and both locations run a "healthy life" program that includes exercise classes, dance classes, a nutrition component and a mental health component. Tapia's philosophy is to promote a healthy lifestyle for both the children and their families.

Both locations aim to provide the best possible care to the underserved communities without their having to worry about taking on any debt. There are on-site insurance representatives who can help the patients and their families find free or low-cost health insurance options.

The exhibit is located at 3332 Broadway at 135th Street and will run Mondays through Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. until March 31. For more photos of the gallery and artwork please visit our Facebook page.

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