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White Memorial Medical Center transforms children's emergency area into an oceanic healing environment with help from HP and CR&A Custom

Awards & Recognition

A Success Story from the Pediatric Center at White Memorial Medical Center


“White Memorial’s philosophy is to promote health of mind, body and spirit, providing a more holistic approach than found in many medical institutions. For more than a year, a special taskforce has been looking at ways to deliver those goals and make the hospital more pediatric friendly.”

Sara Rubalcava-Beck, director of marketing and communications, White Memorial Medical Center

More than just medicine

White Memorial Medical Center is part of the Adventist Health System comprised of 20 hospitals and 225 clinics. With 2,000 other employees and 500 doctors, White Memorial serves a population that is 81 percent Hispanic and 7 percent Asian.

“Our goal is to provide for the particular diseases and healthcare issues that are common to this population,” says Sara Rubalcava-Beck, director of marketing and communications, White Memorial Medical Center. “We’re a full-service hospital and we have been recently expanding our pediatric provision.”

Not long after the expansion started, a number of things began to come together.

“I knew Carmen Rad through the Los Angeles chapter of the National Latina Business Women Association,” she says. “Carmen and her husband run a large-format printing company, CR&A Custom, and she told me about a project HP had sponsored at a children’s hospital in Barcelona, Spain.

"I was shown the video of the San Joan de Déu children’s hospital project where walls and equipment had been decorated using HP Latex Printing Technologies and this inspired us to achieve something similar. Children and parents can be very anxious while in the emergency receiving area and finding a way of alleviating stress and creating a calming, friendly atmosphere was just what we were looking for,” says Rubalcava-Beck.

“CR&A Custom and HP proposed redecorating the receiving area for us. It was a great offer, but before going ahead, we needed to ensure that the inks and materials would withstand heavy use and hospital cleaning chemicals as well as meet health and fire regulations.”


“To make this work, we needed to bring together the right ink and the right material for use in this sensitive environment. An even bigger issue was the mental health of the children using the unit. The colors and images needed to be right to create a soothing, peaceful environment.”

Carmen Rad, founder and president, CR&A Custom, Inc.

Putting the pieces together

“We had done work for White Memorial and other Adventist Health System facilities before using odorless HP Latex Inks,” says Carmen Rad, founder and president CR&A Custom, Inc. “We also have a long relationship with HP and have a number of its large format printers, including an HP Latex 3000 Printer which is well suited to printing media for indoor use in sensitive environments like schools, restaurants and hospitals.”

While informal conversations were going on between Sara Rubalcava-Beck and Carmen Rad, HP was on the verge of launching a new substrate, HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper. This is a material that can withstand the heat of the printing process and is Type II certified. It is scrub and scratch resistant, odorless, can be cleaned with detergent and mildew and mold resistant and– all without need for a top-coat. At present, this HP product it is the only such product available on the market.

“The material is also AgBB, REACH and UL GREENGUARD Gold compliant, which with Type II certification made it ideal for use in the emergency receiving room,” she says.

“White Memorial Medical Center is largely dependent on government money for its work, and its profile made it a worthy and needy site for the donation of our services and HP’s,” says Rad. “The whole package came together: HP would supply the ink and material, we would donate the printing and installation, and the White Memorial team of psychologists, the pediatric taskforce and its graphic designer used HP WallArt to collaborate on the final artwork,” she explains.


“With the interior design project, we wanted to create a room for our pediatric patients – who can be anything from zero to 18 years old - where they felt safe and gave them a stimulating way to look at healthcare. Instead of saying, ‘I’m, in a hospital,’ they could say, ‘I’m at the aquarium’.”

Sara Rubalcava-Beck, director of marketing and communications, White Memorial Medical Center

Design for effect and effectiveness

The White Memorial team’s design used a Mondrian like grid pattern populated with colorful fish. The combination of bright colors against quieter backgrounds keeps the environment calm while being lively and attractive.

“The job totaled about 400ft2 and took about 30 minutes to print on our HP Latex 3000 Printer,” Rad says. “The installation took three hours. The material was easy to work with, but you really need professionals to achieve the quality finish. Also, the coordination and timing had to be carefully worked out because the room couldn’t be closed for long.

“The HP PVC-free Durable Smooth Wall Paper was a real enabler for this job, and it was exciting that this was the first time it had been used anywhere in the world,” Rad says. “Sara and I had dreamt about a project like this, but the right material wasn’t available.

“People who watched the installation were positive in their feedback, and we’re pleased with the result,” she continues. “The hospital is happy and the children who have seen it are very happy, so we have achieved our goals.”

Sara Rubalcava-Beck confirms Carmen Rad’s observations.

“The overall result surpassed our expectations,” she says. “All of the emergency department, other employees, and even our little patients are really excited and happy to have that room.

“We have plans to decorate the rest of our pediatric rooms and hallways to create a stimulating healing environment,” Rubalcava-Beck concludes. “HP and CR&A Custom have shown us how it can be done.”