OF CARE: THE ARTS IN MEDICINE
Premiering Wednesday, March 29,
this press release (MS Word document).
Circle of Care story information (MS Word document).
medicine is much more than having you listen to
a rhythm or to prerecorded music. It's the process
of being together in the music, creating music together,
really being engaged in the beauty of music."
-- Joke Bradt, music therapist
CIRCLE OF CARE: THE ARTS IN MEDICINE,
a WHYY original documentary that explores how the
creative arts are used to aid communication in healing
and healthcare, will premiere Wednesday, March 29
at 8:00 p.m. on WHYY TV12. The half-hour film visits
hospitals, rehabilitation centers and adult residential
communities throughout the Greater Philadelphia
region to intimately witness the process of expressing
and communicating through music, dance, painting,
theater and poetry.
will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by a live, one-hour
discussion with leading local experts, documentary
subjects and a live studio audience on the role
of arts and humanities in medicine. Television viewers
can also participate in the conversation by e-mailing
their questions and comments during the program
to email@example.com. At 9:30 p.m., stay tuned
for the PBS special The New Medicine about
integrative medicine, hosted by the late Dana Reeve,
who passed away from lung cancer earlier this month.
is a production of WHYY Wider Horizons, a multimedia
initiative addressing the needs and interests of
the growing population approaching or in the "second
half" of life, working with the Caring Community,
WHYY's volunteer coalition of more than 100 local
civic and healthcare organizations.
visual arts or poetry are alternative ways for patients
and health professionals to communicate," said
Willo Carey, Executive Director of WHYY Wider Horizons.
"Good communication correlates highly with
patient, family and caregiver satisfaction with
care and effective medical decision-making."
CARE: THE ARTS IN MEDICINE opens with students at
the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
as they are engaged in a dance class with therapist
Rachel Morales. Free movement allows these teenagers,
who may otherwise have difficultly communicating,
to express how they feel. As HMS student Kristin
Young described the experience: "I feel happy
when I dance." School pediatrician Steven Bachrach
added that medical professionals, who often see
children with cerebral palsy only when they're sick,
also benefit from being audience to a dance class.
"Residents in practice see these children at
their worst, when they're least functional,"
said Bachrach. "So to see them out in a chair
and dancing and interacting the way other teenagers
do, gives you a sense of greater potential of what
they are able to do."
can also help patients communicate their pain experience
or lessen the perception of pain, as demonstrated
during CIRCLE OF CARE by Paul Nolan ,
music therapist at Drexel University College of
Medicine. Nolan's therapy sessions with A. Bruce
Gregory, who suffers from severe pain caused by
sickle cell anemia, has carried over into Bruce's
everyday life: he now carries a kalimba, a small,
African finger piano, wherever he goes. "We
see Bruce walking through the hallways with his
kalimba and he plays fast — lots of subdivisions,
no pauses," said Nolan. "And this seems
to somehow slow down his pain."
than 15 years, the staff of adult residential community
Cathedral Village -- together with music therapist
Lorna Glassman -- has been using music to help aid
in communication and to recall memories for the
pleasure and health of nursing home residents. "Those
who are suffering from dementia, they're not sure
where they are, they're not sure where their loved
ones are, they're not sure about anything,"
said Patricia Heffner, recreation manager at Cathedral
Village. "When you have something familiar
like music, it's a comfort. There are people who
can't tell you what they need, but they can sing
every word to 'God Bless America.'"
CARE also visits the theater class at Magee Health
and Rehabilitation Center, where Aaron Deede, paralyzed
from the waist down and cognitively impaired as
the result of an automobile accident, and his fellow
actors perform sequences in mime. "Mime is
maximum idea with minimum movement," explains
theater teacher Barbara Gregson, "which means
that if you already have difficulty moving lots
of parts of your body, you can concentrate on one
part, and that one part is what you are going to
be expressive with."
with the premiere of CIRCLE OF CARE: THE ARTS IN
MEDICINE, WHYY-TV will broadcast ten three-minute
pieces about local uses of the arts in medicine.
Stories include the use of music to teach language;
treating the whole patient through a team approach
that includes an art therapist; a painting class
for cancer patients and survivors to express their
emotions and enhance care; storytelling as an avenue
of communication among residents of an assisted
living facility; and the benefits of journaling
and writing for healthcare professionals. These
segments will air throughout the WHYY TV12 schedule
beginning in March.
Producer for CIRCLE OF CARE is Trudi Brown. Andrea
Campbell is Producer/Director.
CARE: THE ARTS IN MEDICINE was made possible by
a grant from Sound Partners for Community Health
, a national project
of the Benton Foundation, funded by The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, which is dedicated to improving
health and health care for all Americans. Additional
funding was provided by the College of Physicians
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