HCCH Photo Exhibit Showcases Prairie, Promotes Healing


A new photography exhibit at Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany aims to provide a colorful, cheery environment for patients while also highlighting one of the region’s unique assets.

Twenty-four photographs showing the landscapes, native plants and flowers, bison, birds and butterflies found at the Dunn Ranch Prairie adorn the hallway linking the inpatient wing and outpatient services, one of the hospital’s busiest corridors.

“Research has shown that inspiring works of art in the hospital setting can aid the healing process,” said Kelly Pottorff, the hospital’s chief executive officer.

“We hope these awe-inspiring images of the Dunn Ranch landscapes and prairie species brighten the day for our patients, visitors and staff,” he added.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) owns the Dunn Ranch, more than three thousand acres northwest of Eagleville where TNC staff are restoring the tallgrass prairie that once covered much of northwest Missouri.

Bison and prairie chickens have been reintroduced to the Dunn Ranch, and populations of other prairie species are also increasing. 

The photographs displayed at the hospital are the work of Noppadol Paothong, a photographer for Missouri Conservationist magazine, who has been photographing the landscapes and wildlife at the Dunn Ranch since early 2000.

Paothong has worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation since 2006. Photographing prairies and prairie species, specifically prairie chickens, has been his lifelong passion. His photography has received more than 60 regional and national awards.

Pottorff said he hopes community members of all ages will visit the hospital at 2600 Miller Street in Bethany to see the photos in the permanent exhibit.

The images were purchased by the HCCH Foundation using funds from an endowment established by the late Howard O. Trullinger and Leah E. Slatten Trullinger, who were residents of Eagleville and longtime friends of the hospital.

“Howard and Leah wanted to help us enhance the hospital and the lives of people in our area,” said Tim Hill, the hospital’s marketing director and a member of the Foundation’s board. “This beautiful photography accomplishes both.”

In addition to supporting hospital improvements, the Trullingers also established an endowment to provide scholarships to individuals pursuing health care occupations.

Pictured at top: HCCH staff members look at three of the photographs that are part of the new exhibit on permanent display at the hospital.

Pictured at right: Noppadol Paothong, the wildlife photographer whose images are featured in the display.

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