Your favorite song has been “playing” in your head all day … it lifts your spirit and brings a smile. Your most treasured painting by Edward Potthast greets you when you get home from a long, busy day – taking you back to that fabulous week at the beach. And you make weekend plans to see The Book of Mormon at Playhouse Square. It’s been a good day.
Each of us can identify with some form of artful expression, surfacing emotions and memories that soothe the soul. It’s no wonder that health care is catching on, once again, to the connection between the arts and healing.
Arts in Medicine reflects rediscovery of the links between body, mind and spirit and the creative and medical arts. It aims to transform the health care experience by connecting people with the power of the arts at key times in their lives. By reducing stress, loneliness and the perception of pain, the arts can improve the patient’s experience and have a positive impact on health outcomes — shorter hospital stays, less need for pain medications and enhanced adherence to treatment – resulting in savings for both patients and health organizations.
At MetroHealth, we believe that a hospital should not only provide trusted medical care for patients, but it also should create a healing environment that inspires, engages and connects. When President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, speaks about MetroHealth’s Transformation, he is adamant that art will have a seat at the table. “We are going to embed art in everything we do,” he said.
Enter Linda Jackson, MetroHealth’s first-ever director of Arts in Medicine. She is aptly suited for this role, after serving 31 years at Cleveland’s iconic Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts center in the U.S. outside of New York.
“Art, in its many forms, is a great connector; I have seen what it can do as an artist, as an audience member and as an educator. It has the power to unite us, to help us communicate and to overcome,” she says.
Jackson is working with an Advisory Committee comprised of community leaders from theater, film, visual arts, advocacy, philanthropy and banking, as well as physicians, other clinicians and health care professionals to design MetroHealth’s Arts in Medicine program. As part of the Office of Patient Experience, Jackson collaborates with architects to design space that accommodates arts programming for new buildings at the W. 25th Street campus.
“It is truly a blank canvas that we can create and paint collectively,” she said. “I want to supplement the therapeutic programs we currently have with programs at the bedside, in our waiting rooms and for our employees.”
The Arts in Medicine program is guided by its mission to embed the visual, performing and therapeutic arts throughout The MetroHealth System to promote healing, wellness and increased engagement among patients, families, caregivers and the greater community.
We Want to Know:
What form of art inspires you? If you were in charge, what creative arts would you provide in a hospital or health care setting?