Inspired by his father, Dr. Joseph Gascho’s photography series highlights support personnel
While portraits of deans, department chairs and board members are often hung around campus, a series of photographs by Dr. Joseph Gascho, Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute, highlights the importance of those not in the spotlight at Penn State Hershey.
Gascho, a cardiologist, enjoys photography and has had his work featured both on and off campus. His current project is located in the hallway alongside the cafeteria, off the Rotunda elevators. More of his work is also on display at Lebanon Art Center.
“I enjoy capturing moments, recording memories, making something hopefully artistic and pleasing to the eye, seeing something in a new way,” Gascho said. “A lot of my medical photographs are designed to show that patients are people, more than just heart attacks or gall bladders. I want to show the humanity of people.”
The series features eight portraits of support staff. Each is dressed in their Sunday best and is holding a prop that represents their jobs. The props, Gascho says, are to show that the tools are just as important as the stethoscopes that doctors are often photographed with.
The project was inspired by Gascho’s father.
“The project has personal meaning to me,” he said. “To support us, my father worked as a maintenance worker at a small college for 75 cents an hour. Seldom was he told that what he did was of any consequence. It was.
“Not enough attention is given to the support people that play a crucial role in what goes on at the Medical Center. The place would not function without them.”
Reaction has been positive.
“I think it was great,” Sue Dove, shuttle bus driver in one of the portraits, said. “It was very nice of him to recognize his father and what he did, and nice of him to recognize us and our contributions. I’m glad I took part in it.”
Gascho said other physicians have also reacted positively to his art. “Some of my colleagues identify with me–they had a parent who did support work and they appreciated that,” he said.