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Introduction: The World Health Organization defines health as a state of total physical, mental and social well-being, not just the absence of disease or fragility. Making art in medical settings reduces pain, tiredness, emotional distress and other feelings that negatively affect well-being, while enhancing positive emotions and communication. According to the 2009 “State of the Field Report” by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, 43-45% of healthcare institutions reported having some form of an art program. Art from the Heart (AFTH) is a program of Burlington City Arts in collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center. With the aid of volunteers, AFTH offers pediatric patients and their families the opportunity for a more normalized experience by providing them with time and materials to experience the joys of creativity and imagination. Waiting areas, in-patient hospital rooms, exam rooms and chemotherapy infusion bays become temporary art studios. The purpose of our public health project was to evaluate the presence and impact of AFTH in three pediatric points of care at UVM Medical Center.


Mark Pasanen, MD University of Vermont College of Medicine

Rebecca Schwarz, Burlington City Arts


Burlington City Arts, Art from the Heart


Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being, Maternal, Infant, and Child Health, Early and Middle Childhood, Educational and Community-Based Programs

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

The Role of Art in the Patient Experience: An Evaluation of Art from the Heart at UVM Medical Center