Arts for Healing at the Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus, bringing art and music therapy and healthcare together into one exceptional program, was established to improve the spiritual and emotional health of patients who are facing significant medical challenges. The development of this program was inspired by our physicians, hospital leadership and Sharp HealthCare Foundation Board members who recognized the power of art and music therapy to enhance the healing process for patients. Since inception in 2007, more than 118,000 patients and their families have benefited from the time and talent provided by our dedicated volunteers, licensed therapists, and staff.
Sharp HealthCare recognizes that providing great care extends beyond traditional medical treatments to offer personalized care for every patient. The goal of Arts for Healing is to improve the spiritual and emotional health of those facing significant medical challenges through art and music therapy. Last year alone, this innovative program transformed the health care experience for over 35,000 patients and their loved ones. Arts for Healing at Sharp is unique to San Diego — no other hospital brings art and music to patients' bedsides. Utilizing clinical research, we have created new programs to help our patients who struggle with pain, anxiety, chronic illness and mental health issues. Funded entirely through philanthropy, this program has had a dramatic impact on Sharp and, in turn, the people of our community.
The benefits of the program can be seen in a variety of settings:
*Soon-to-be mothers on bed rest at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns journal their thoughts and make dolls for their new babies.
*Behavioral health patients of all ages participate in art and music therapeutic classes at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital while undergoing treatment for acute and chronic mental illness.
*All patients have the opportunity to create custom handmade cards for loved ones (including thank you cards and valentines cards).
*To uplift their spirits during long hospital stays, patients express their gratitude to family, friends and caregivers through artistic cards and gifts.
*Rehabilitation patients have the opportunity to embody their differing capabilities through unique art projects.
*Patients who face the medical limitations and challenges that lie ahead after their hospitalization have newfound activities they can continue and use for long-term health and healing.
The Arts for Healing program utilizes art and music, either individually or within group activities, and serves patients of all ages. Should we be selected for a Rotary District grant, we will use the funds to support our tablet music therapy program, delivered by our trained and licensed staff which is available to patients of all ages throughout the Sharp HealthCare system. Grant support will assist us to continue providing this component of the currently operating Arts for Healing program at Sharp. Funding will assist us to purchase several new tablets, tablet covers and wireless headphones. We will use free software, GarageBand, which has been evaluated in similar settings with great success. Art therapy, provided to children through assistive devices, such as IPAD tablets has proven successful. In their article, Using Music Technology in Music Therapy with Populations Across the Life Span in Medical and Educational Programs, Magee, et. al. found that using such devices in music therapy programs can compensate for physical limitations, enabling enhanced emotional expression, increased communication, and increased autonomy and motivation, particularly for those with complex physical and sensory needs. Assistive devices equalize abilities within group settings and enable a sense of belonging and contribute to the purpose of an organized group. Correspondingly, recording software, used as tool in such programs, can engage people of any age as it is easily portable and has the capacity to capture and convert transitory live music moments into tangible, lasting memories, even within the shortest of sessions (Magee, et al., (2011), Music and Medicine, 3(3), 146-153). We also feel that this program, while utilized primarily in our inpatient setting, can be used by patients following discharge to encourage continued learning and therapy. All devices purchased with these funds and software utilized during the course of the program will remain the exclusive property of Sharp HealthCare for use with other patients as needed.
We are so thankful for the dedicated support from San Diego Rotary members including Jean Young, Richard Coutts, MD and Suzy Spafford. We are especially grateful to Dr. Coutts and Jean Young who serve on the Sharp HealthCare Foundation's Arts for Healing Philanthropy Council as they will be closely involved with this program, our staff, patients and volunteers to ensure maximum success.