Arts and Health: A Prescription for Patient-Centered Care
by Jane Weber Brubaker
In April, more than 260 professionals gathered for the 25th annual Global Alliance for Arts & Health convention, hosted this year by Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Arts and health is “a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to transforming health and healing though the arts,” according to the organization’s website (www.thesah.org). The conference sessions covered the Global Alliance’s five focus areas: patient care, healing environments, caring for the caregiver, community well-being, and education.
The arts and health movement seeks to reintegrate the arts into health care. “If you go back in time, the arts were an integral part of healing,” said Helen Currier, director of renal, vascular access and palliative care services at Texas Children’s and vice president of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health. “Music, expression, storytelling, and dance were all a part of healing and wellness,” she said, adding, “As we became modern, we removed them from environments that were very specific for healing, such as a hospital.”