Set up a new program in hospital

How to start a full Arts In Medicine program at a community hospital in three months for $15,000. Yes you can do this, anyone can.

Mary Rockwood Lane, one of the people who started the new program

This page is about the making of a brand new Arts In Medicine program at a community hospital. The program was started by the Arts In Medicine program at University of Florida, Gainesville, at Alachua General Hospital a local general hospital. They received $15,000 from a private donor and in three months have gone this far. I put this web page up help any interested people to do it.

Secure $15,000 funding in seed money from a foundation or donor interested in art and medicine

Have a community artists retreat, a call to artists to have them express ideas and plans for implementation

Meet with the hospital administrators and have on going meetings with the hospital administrators to make the program consistent with the hospitals designated values and mission statement

Meet with the hospital administrator for matching funds

The hospital also donates: studio space in house on a unit, a telephone, and a designated administrator in liaison

From your artists retreat, ideally find a musician, a dancer. a visual artist, a storyteller, to be artists in residence

Pick co-directors, one to liaison with hospital, one to liaison with the artists

You also need a nursing liaison, a media liaison from the hospital staff The artists are paid for their part time work with small Honiara from the grant

Set up a studio right in the hospital stocked with art supplies

Get the supplies donated from community art stores, art suppliers, and dept. Stores

Call to your local community for more donations

Do in service workshops conducted by artists for staff physicians, nurses, assistants, to orient them to Arts In Medicine ( we did six)

The hospital does orientations for artists about rules and safety procedures

Start with an initial high visibility concert involving patients, physicians, invite the whole community and make it a media event

Pick two units, start artists on both of them

Set up clinical artist rounds on day a week to meet with artists, and visitors, and staff and discuss what is happening and how to make it better

Have the artists make a weekly commitment to visit patients and work with staff for three months

Do monthly concerts The hospital also donates: studio space in house on a unit, a telephone, and a designated administrator in liaison.


A letter to the funder from the program organizer

Gainesville, Florida Tuesday, October 06, 1998

Dear Jill,

I hope everything in your life is going wonderfully. The new Alachua General Hospital arts in healing program is a dream come true. I have enclosed a packet of information for your review. You should be proud of the wonderful program you have created with us.

It started off with a community wide call to artists to find people interested in working in our new program. Then we met with the hospital administrators and planned the program together. This is what we did to start the Arts In Medicine program at University of Florida. We had an excellent response.

One of the most prominent artists in Gainesville has become our fist visual artist in residence. She has been busy making murals and she has created an art studio on a medicine unit. She comes into the hospital at two A.M. and works with patients and does portraits of them in the emergency ward. We also have a writer-storyteller in residence, Elllie Sommer, who is co-directing the program. She has excellent administrative skills . Kathy DeWitt is the musician in residence. She has started a monthly concert series. She has also initiated a music in medicine program in collaboration with a University of Florida professor and music students and has invited community musicians to play with us. We have a dancer in residence who is a professor of dance at University of Florida who is bringing over a dancing troop and is on the rehabilitation unit.

As you can see the program is rich, diverse, and is already making an immediate impact on patient care. Everyone here is delighted with it, the people at Alachua General Hospital say its the best thing that has happened there. I think this programs is pretty impressive for three months work. We are negotiating with the school of music for a baby grand and we are hopeful it will come through. We are so excited about the community involvement and interest. The spirit of generosity has been immense. Just the other day, a local artist called and donated her entire life work of sculptural wall hangings and free stranding three dimensional sculptures to be hung in the hospital. It is beau how the art in medicine model interfaces with the Planetree model of patient care.

Artists are changing the face of Healthcare in this small community hospital. Thank you deeply. You have made such a difference in the world by creating this prototype for other hospitals. I can only wish such success to other hospitals setting up such a program.

Thanks again and love to you,

Mary Rockwood Lane