“I have always been drawn to people and have sought to see them compassionately and with understanding through the lens of my eyes, my heart and soul as well as the lens of my camera.”
– Patricia Gallinek
Serving in many roles such as caregiver, decision maker, patient advocate, and teacher, nurses are pivotal players in the healthcare profession. Patricia Gallinek, RN, took her duties a step further, deeply immersing herself into the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children in need of healthcare and compassion. Ms. Gallinek has always had a love for photography and through it she found a way to enrich her life, and those of others.
In 1990, after retiring from 30 years in the nursing profession, Ms. Gallinek returned to college to study photojournalism, documentary photography, and communications. Her goal was clear; it was her calling to document healthcare around the world on film and, in her own words, “bring awareness to the heart-wrenching healthcare problems and those extraordinary volunteers whose selfless devotion relieves suffering and improves medical care around our world.”
Born through her love of photography and the most genuine concern for humankind, she embarked on a new vocation to volunteer as a photographer for organizations involved in international healthcare. Despite language barriers, rough terrain, and challenging climates, and even through intensely emotional scenes of despair, her images thoughtfully and respectfully evoke the sense of humanity, perseverance, and friendship that she found in the communities she visited.
Ms. Gallinek has generously donated to the National Library of Medicine over 500 photographs that she herself printed from her journeys around the globe, each carefully described and documented when the photograph was made. Below is a small selection of images from the collection.
All images are copyright Patricia Gallinek and used with permission.
Ms. Gallinek was the recipient of the Elizabeth Lobkowicz Photography Award for Academic Honors in the Arts and Humanities, presented by the faculty and administrators of Mt. Vernon College in Washington, DC. Ms. Gallinek also received the International Civil Golden Award by the Distinguished Civil Forum of Nepal for her outstanding contribution in the field of photography. Her photo essays for HealthCare Traveler can be found at http://healthcaretraveler.modernmedicine.com/authorDetails/19461.