Arts in Health Program

Arts in Health Program

Arts in Health program integrates art and healing

woman and artTo integrate the arts into the process of healing, Samaritan uses resources available through Arts in Health, an innovative program that places artists in local hospitals. The Arts in Health program involves specially-trained artists who work regularly with patients in areas such as dialysis, ambulatory infusion, medical/surgical units, cardiac rehabilitation, mental health and the Mario Pastega House.

The artists work in media including clay, drawing, painting, printmaking, fiber art, quilting, doll making, fabric crafts, and many forms of writing. In addition, participating musicians visit the hospital regularly to provide the healing sounds of the harp, viola, guitar and voice. Arts in Health artists also partner with hospital staff to offer a series of six-week workshops for cancer survivors and caregivers. They also complete commissioned artwork for public spaces and patient care areas throughout the Samaritan system.

Both Samaritan Health Services and The Arts Center in Corvallis have received grant support for their Arts and Health collaboration, including from the Oregon Arts Commission to develop training for participating artists and from the Global Alliance for Arts and Health to complete strategic planning for the program.

In addition, employees from both organizations have been frequent presenters at the Global Alliance's annual conference, and have hosted site visits and trainings for the University of Oregon's graduate program in Arts in Healthcare Management. Samaritan employees have also hosted multiple site visits to their healing gardens in Lebanon, and have presented at the North American Japanese Garden Association Conference (NAJGA) at the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

Arts in Health research at Samaritan has been funded by the John C. Erkkila, M.D. Endowment for Health and Human Performance. Research findings have been presented at local and national conferences and Samaritan research psychologist Jana Kay Slater, Ph.D., recently contributed a chapter on arts-based research methods to Managing Arts Programs in Healthcare (in preparation, Routledge, 2015).

Arts in Health programs are supported by Samaritan Health Services, The Arts Center in Corvallis and the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts. Of particular note is the Arts in Health Fund, created by local residents Bob and Kitty Bunn in 2004, and since then supported by grants and financial gifts from like-minded donors. Earnings from the fund support programs and projects at Samaritan-affiliated hospitals and other health care providers in the region.

To learn more about Arts in Health, contact Julie Manning at 541-768-5172.

Learn more about The Arts Center in Corvallis.
Learn more about the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.

 Download the Arts in Health brochure.

Arts in Health Mission:
We promote the integration of art and music in health care settings and through evaluation and research, advance knowledge regarding its effects.

Arts in Health Vision: Through the everyday presence of art and music in health care settings, we enhance the health care experience and promote the physical and emotional well‐being of patients, visitors and staff.  Evaluation and research activities guide Arts in Health growth and contribute to the scientific body of knowledge about arts in health care. 
Feedback from ArtsCare patients, artists and supporters:

"This is the most important thing I've ever done." Marion Moir, Newport watercolor artist, on her work with cancer patients through ArtsCare

"I took bits and pieces of broken scraps or clay and formed them into art - just like my life has been broken, I know it can once again be beautiful in a different way." Patient participant in an ArtsCare workshop

"The staff at The Arts Center in Corvallis know about art's curative powers. The center's work since 2003 with cancer, dialysis and mental health patients at Samaritan Health Services hospitals has taken off, providing patients with a chance to make art, working with professional artists to enjoy live music in the hospital and to participate in creative writing programs." The Oregon Arts Commission