Arts in Health Care Partnership Grant
Music and Arts Program for Healing and Comfort
New Hampshire’s Hospital for Children (NHHC) at Elliot Hospital recently developed a music and art program to complement their Pediatric Integrative Medicine Program. The goal of this innovative approach is to incorporate all healing modalities into patient care- something they call “integrative medicine.” The Elliot defines integrative medicine (IM) as “an approach to the practice of medicine that makes use of the best available evidence taking into account the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle.”
Through a FY2014 Arts in Health Care Partnership grant of $3,500, the State Arts Council enabled the hospital to fund two artists skilled in working in health care settings to work with children for approximately eight weeks. Irish musician, singer and dancer Regina Delaney and visual artist June Latti worked with children in different stages of treatment and recovery, bringing them joy and helping to build an emotional environment conducive to their healing. The Elliot also worked closely with the Currier Museum of Art to identify the artists. Visionary support from the Mary & John Elliot Foundation provided a cash match for the project.
The project received very high scores in the evaluations from patients, families, and staff. According to the Elliott, rankings in categories such as ‘comforting’, ‘beneficial to healing’, and ‘uplifting’ received the highest possible scores. Qualitative feedback from patients and parents gave the hospital further insight on integrative modalities and the true meaning of the benefits of having artists work with patients. One mother stated, “doing art brought her out of her sickness shell,” while a young patient said, “the music sends my mind somewhere else besides what is going on around me.”
The arts-based project was coordinated by Rebecca Marden, Clinical Nurse Manager for New Hampshire’s Hospital for Children and Lacy Jane Folger, MS, CCLS, Child Life Coordinator.
In an article in Nursing News, Marden remarked, “Whether providing direct care at the bedside or as a nursing leader, it is important to advocate for programs that truly make a difference for patients/families and staff alike. The MAP program is an example of an integrative program that combines the arts and science of healing and more importantly it continues to allow kids to be kids, even when they are sick.” *
Arts in Health Care grants and partnerships support arts activities, presentations and artist residencies that occur in health care facilities, rehabilitation centers and in centers serving the needs of the elderly. The goal of this program is to utilize the arts to enhance the quality of life and promote an environment conducive to healing for patients, residents, and/or clients.
The Arts in Health Care Directory on the NH State Council on the Arts website provides names and contact information for a range of artists skilled in working in health care settings.
* Quote extracted from: NURSING NEWS; April 2014 Official Newsletter of New Hampshire Nurses Association Vol. 38 No. 2; Quarterly Circulation 23,000 to Registered Nurses, LPNs, LNAs, and Student Nurses in New Hampshire
June 2, 2014