As plans for Peeples Cancer Institute and Anna Shaw Children’s Institute took shape, Hamilton’s planning team sought innovative ways to enhance the patient experience. Drawing from interviews with patients, caregivers, and Hamilton’s Patient Advisory Councils, the team began to blend clinical and holistic care into facility design and patient care plans.
Whitfield Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Jane Snipes formulated several ideas based on her past experiences with arts in education programs in local schools. She contacted Amanda Brown, Executive Director at the Creative Arts Guild, and conversation began about the development of an arts in healthcare partnership. With Amanda having completed master’s level work on the impact of the arts in healthcare, the vision of a healing arts program was born.
Soon afterwards, the Hamilton design team met with Amanda Brown and the Guild’s Gallery Director, Savannah Thomas. The initial phase of the arts program would focus on obtaining visual art from local and regional artists for Anna Shaw Children’s Institute and Peeples Cancer Institute. The visual art collections would serve as inspiration for the development of a more immersive program centered on improving patient care and experiences through the arts.
Beginning with selections for Anna Shaw Children’s Institute, the Creative Arts Guild identified artists and presented a plan that would coordinate with thematic elements of the new facility. “We were delighted to have the interest of 24 artists who agreed to create art for our new children’s facility,” says Anna Shaw Children’s Institute Executive Director Terri Woodruff. “Capitalizing on our treehouse theme, the artists were able to draw inspiration from nature and the outdoors to create pieces unique to each room’s theme or purpose.” Artists were given the freedom to use their creativity using various mediums including oil, acrylic, mixed media, computerized art, and 3-D art.
The Creative Arts Guild and the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation partnered to hold an event at the Guild’s February Friday gallery opening to provide an opportunity for community members and businesses to sponsor pieces of art in Anna Shaw Children’s Institute. Art sponsors are now recognized with a small plaque next to their respective art piece(s) to honor the artist’s work as well as the donor’s gift. A similar art program is underway for Peeples Cancer Institute, with art sponsorships available for community members’ support. “We have incredibly talented artists living in our community and region,” says Foundation Trustee and longtime Creative Arts Guild supporter Cathy Snyder. “By supporting their creative efforts and featuring their work, we are honoring our people. Moreover, the arts in healthcare partnership offers our community limitless opportunities for the development of an integrated arts program at Hamilton.”
“A cancer diagnosis can cause patients to feel that their health is out of their control,” says Mitchell Berger, MD, Hamilton Cancer Institute Medical Director. “Incorporating the arts into patient care provides therapeutic and healing benefits, and reduces stress and anxiety. The arts become a refuge from the intense emotions associated with illness.”
“As a foundation focused on healthcare in our community, we see the arts as benefiting our patients, caregivers, and staff in numerous ways,” says Jane. “We are strongly committed to the health and wellbeing of this community, and the arts allow us to connect on a human level to the emotions and health challenges of patients and caregivers as well as the demands of the healthcare work environment on staff. The arts become a win-win for everyone.”
To learn how how you can become an arts sponsor and community partner, contact Jane Snipes, Executive Director of the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation at 706.272.6128.