PPE Portrait Project


Share the smile behind the PPE

The ICUBP would not be able to operate the PPE Portrait Project without the incredibly generous donations / printing services from Business Box.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Portrait Project is a hybrid art and medical intervention designed to improve patient care and team dynamics by humanizing the alienating appearance of PPE, through warm and smiling headshot portraits fixed to the outside of a healthcare worker's PPE.


The PPE Portrait Project was created by Mary Beth Heffernan in response to the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project gained more momentum at medical centres around the world. The ICUBP team reached out to Mary Beth Heffernan for her guidance in implementing this initiative in Montreal ICUs.

PPE Portraits have been very well received by patients as well as staff. Check out this video interview from CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1760124483625 

or this radio interview from Daybreak Montreal: https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-15-daybreak-montreal

The purpose of these portraits is to:

  1. Reduce patient isolation and fear

  2. Increase trust and connection with the healthcare worker 

  3. Increase patient awareness of who is taking care of them

  4. Humanize healthcare workers and increase team dynamics

In short, by adding portraits to a healthcare provider's PPE, we can bring some much needed expression, compassion, and humanistic connection to an otherwise scary and overwhelming situation.

To reserve your PPE portrait in Montreal, click here: icubp.org/ppe

To help fund the PPE Project, the ICUBP is asking for donations in exchange for reusable ICUBP masks. Check out below!

PPE Portraits By The Numbers:


Portraits requested




Different healthcare




PPE Portraits in Action:

PPE Portraits Canada

The project has gained a lot of traction and has now expanded to other Canadian cities (Saskatoon, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa)!

To reserve your PPE portrait in any of these locations, click here:


To help support the project, click here: https://ppeportraits.raisely.com/

ICU Bridge Program Masks

Place your order here! www.icubp.org/masks

In order to help fund the PPE project we are introducing reusable, non-medical ICU Bridge Program face masks for a minimum donation of $5. Place your orders via www.icubp.org/masks to represent the ICUBP in style!

In response to the global pandemic and the recently implemented mandatory mask policy in Quebec, the ICUBP is making masks available to the Montréal community at an affordable donation rate while also supporting the programs efforts in improving patient care through the PPE Project.


If you do not need a mask but would still like to support the ICUBP's initiatives, you can also donate directly to the program via https://www.icubridgeprogram.org/donate

Thank you to everyone supporting our PPE Project and wearing our masks! 


ICU Journals

The ICU is often an incredibly emotional and stressful environment for both patients and their families. Patients in critical condition are often intubated and sedated for long periods of time. This makes it difficult for patients to recall certain events or differentiate between delusions and reality. Many patients and their families develop Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS), which includes mental health issues, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

The goal of the ICU journals initiative is to address this issue by continuing and restoring the patient’s life narrative in this very difficult period of time.


In other words, an ICU journal is an electronic journal documenting the patient’s stay at the ICU. It is not a medical record, but a ledger to which family members and ICU staff may contribute thoughts that they feel may later be helpful to the patient. Journal entries are typically written by visitors or nurses, with the help of ICU Bridge Program volunteers. They may include:

  • Wishes and reflections from visitors

  • Pictures of the patient's progress

  • A video of the patient's first steps

  • Simple everyday events such as updates from the family, the weather outside, sports news…


The ICU Bridge Program volunteers will assist in managing journal entries by providing a tablet to interested families and showing them how the diary application works (how to access the appropriate journal, how to add photos/videos/audio recordings, etc).


After they are discharged from the ICU, reading and reviewing ICU journal entries can be valuable during the long road to recovery. Studies show that the diaries help patients and families understand and integrate their illness experience better, as well as reduce the incidence of PTSD.

The example below is fictitious, but illustrates the powerful effect that our electronic journals can have.


Humans of the Hospital (HOTH)

Hi, my name is Nafisa and I am a Concordia student in Behavioural Neuroscience. Humans of the Hospital is a photoblog that will be featuring all kinds of people who either volunteer or work as part of the ICU Bridge Program team. I feel that there is this misconception that if you are in the sciences, you are probably not interested in the arts and vice-versa. Guess what? It is possible and in fact more common than you think! Photography is a superb way to convey a complex idea into a single still image. It is easier and more profound to see someone’s emotions through a photograph to understand what he or she is expressing, than to read about them in an article. Photography has always been one of my passions and what better way to explore it further than using it to convey the stories of the hardworking men and women in our hospitals and the ICU Bridge Program? Stay tuned!