EPIC Donates Painting to Mother-Baby Unit at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

Updated: 8/22/2014

Every Person Influences Children-EPIC donates oil painting in honor of longtime parent educator


Marybeth Cunningham, parent educator for Ready, Set, Parent! stands next to her painting of a mother reading to her child, which now hangs in the hallway of the Mother-Baby Unit.

On August 20, Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) donated an oil pastel painting in honor of longtime Ready, Set, Parent! (RSP!) educator, Marybeth Cunningham, to the Mother-Baby Unit at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. Cunningham, a 12-year employee of EPIC, helped develop on-site classes at WCHOB for new parents. EPIC commissioned Cunningham to create the painting which depicts a mother reading to her child.

RSP! encourages a broad base of healthy practices for mothers and their children, but to Marybeth, none are as powerful as reading to children from a young age. The message is simple, but lasting, and is a central part of a RSP!’s mission to help families, schools, and communities raise children to become responsible and capable adults.

RSP! is a collaboration between EPIC-Every Person Influences Children, a Buffalo-based nonprofit organization, and Baker Victory Services.  The RSP! program has three main components that support families from the moment their child is born and onward: hospital room visits, newborn classes during the hospital stay and a series of community workshops presented in locations throughout Buffalo.

RSP! prepares parents for the most important job they will ever have right from the start. The program took root in Women & Children’s Hospital when Marybeth saw an opportunity to extend EPIC’s positive community-based influence into the hospital, where parents are most receptive to advice. “Parents are wide open,” Marybeth explains. “If you can get people to trust you and relax, you can make a real difference.”

Marybeth has been that positive voice at new mothers’ bedsides for the past 12 years, and the painting allows EPIC to continue giving to the Mother-Baby Unit in a way that also celebrates her outstanding service. Marybeth is proud of EPIC’s longstanding impact on children and families in Western New York. The RSP! Program’s focus on engagement and their presence in several local hospitals is a big step forward in supporting the “cradle to college or career” continuum of community services to improve young people’s lives.

For more information on EPIC-Every Person Influences Children and Ready, Set, Parent! click here.