Painting Away Pain: Eileen’s Story of Resilience

Meet Eileen, a cherished patient at Henry J. Austin Health Center (HJAHC). She visits Sam Malestein, LCSW, for her mental health treatment. Their work together has empowered Eileen to navigate her challenges with pain. These treatment services that have benefited Eileen are available to all HJAHC patients. 

“It is incredibly important to provide a safe environment for patients to show up and thrive as their authentic selves,” Sam shared. 

Sam’s kind guidance brings light to Eileen’s darkest days. Most recently, Sam encouraged Eileen to try painting to relieve her of her pain. Taking her daughter along, Eileen attended two painting classes. She found joy in blending colors, creating wonders from her imagination.  


“If it weren’t for Sam, I wouldn’t have tried painting,” said Eileen.  

Painting has become Eileen’s refuge. As a paraplegic, she grapples with severe muscle spasms. However, when she immerses herself in painting, these spasms seem to vanish. “Muscle spasms drive me crazy. Now I know that when I concentrate on something I enjoy, like painting, they go away,” explained Eileen. She is grateful for the therapeutic effect of her newfound hobby, all thanks to Sam’s encouragement. 

Eileen loves that HJAHC is close to home, so she can experience the care she deserves, whenever she needs it.


She praises the remarkable progress at HJAHC, noticing the care and concern from the providers. “You can feel how much the providers care,” she noted with gratitude. The improvements in service have made her experience smoother, with shorter wait times. Eileen admires the efficiency of the patient experience at HJAHC, acknowledging the strides the health center has made.  



Eileen is admired for her resilience and creativity in finding ways to heal. 


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