Projects 2000-Present > Karuna - Compassionate Action The History of Public Health in Miami-Dade County

Karuna – Compassionate Action
The History of Public Health in Miami-Dade County

The Miami-Dade County Dept. of Health, Miami, FL
Florida Art in State Buildings Project


The Miami-Dade County Dept. of Health is the local branch of a state agency, the Florida Dept. of Health. It represents the largest population of the 67 county health departments in the state. The mission of the MDCHD is to protect and promote the health of all residents and visitors in Miami-Dade County.

My twenty suspended panels are assorted sizes, spanning a curtain wall that is 20’ x 52’. They are made out of stained glass with printed and fired imagery, and sandblasting, assembled with zinc calme. They are installed close to, but not touching the window wall, which uses a special hurricane-rated glass. Since we could not install within the mullions we used a rod and cable suspension system to display the artwork. The panels look like jewels floating in the space.

Karuna - Compassionate Action tells the story of public health in south Florida. It’s a story that is full of human drama -- life and death struggles, catastrophic storms, waves of immigration, and outbreaks of life-threatening diseases. It is also the story of human beings who dedicate their lives to helping people in need.

Some of the material in my design is graphic and powerful, some is moving and poignant, and some is humorous. All of it works together, weaving in milestones and transformational events, informed by compassion, caring and service.

This light-filled building was designed by architect, Roberto A. Smith.

Project photos by Robin Hill