This month, The Post, UF Health’s newsletter, featured an informative article about the Arts in Medicine program where I work as an artist in residence.
They may come into the room armed with crayons, journals or guitar picks instead of doses of medicine and stethoscopes, but UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine’s artists in residence and art therapists have become a crucial part of healing for countless patients. And that’s just one part of how Arts in Medicine is working to transform the patient experience in Gainesville and beyond. In the 25 years since Arts in Medicine was founded at UF Health Shands Hospital, the program has become a national leader in the use of art to accentuate healing — helping patients at hospitals in Gainesville and Jacksonville, educating the next generation of arts in health leaders and conducting research that could help bring the benefits of arts in medicine to even more people.
The program is wide-ranging, from dance classes for patients and bedside art to research in the emergency room and educational collaborations in Ireland. But one thing is certain. Patients always come first.