Baptist Health believes that health and healing involves the whole person — body, mind and spirit. With that in mind, Baptist strives to create environments that support healing — for patients, families and caregivers.
This is accomplished by providing access to visual and performing arts, gardens, and natural light at all of their hospitals to assist in the healing process and enhance the patient and family experience.
“Art touches us at a profound level, especially as we face the vulnerability of illness and injury. We strongly believe that there is a connectedness between the arts and healing,” says Baptist Health President and CEO Hugh Greene.
In fact, research shows that healing environments promote faster patient recoveries, reduce pain and stress levels and lead to greater satisfaction among patients and clinicians alike.
A mixture of art from local and regional artists is featured throughout Baptist Health’s hospitals; some of which is chosen to reflect the unique characteristics of each campus location. Artwork at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, for example, includes landscapes of Jacksonville’s beaches and Intracoastal Waterway, reflecting the natural beauty of the surrounding community served by the hospital.
Great care is taken in the selection and placement of artwork at Baptist Health facilities. For example, when the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Tower opened in November of 2012, more than two-hundred pieces of artwork, including prints, paintings, hand-blown glass and sculptures had been carefully selected to adorn the patient rooms, family areas, hallways and lobbies.
Similarly, in 2005, before opening Jacksonville’s first hospital of the 21st century, Baptist Health leadership made sure that Baptist South would feature a wide variety of local and regional art to contribute to its innovative environment of healing. The architectural design of the hospital, with abundant natural light, inviting gardens, soothing colors and textures, and home-like amenities, also help to reduce anxiety and create a sense of well-being.
The healing properties of art are not just aesthetic; art can be therapeutic as well. That’s the impetus behind The Caring Arts Program at Baptist Health, which brings creative activities to the bedsides of adult patients through mediums such as drawing, painting, arts and crafts, poetry, journaling, music, dance, meditation and more. For pediatric patients, Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s Art with a Heart in Health Care program provides children with hands-on fine art experiences using various media. Five days a week, resident artists and volunteers transform hospital rooms into interactive art studios, allowing children to express themselves in a highly personalized way.
As the only community-focused, locally governed, nonprofit health system in North Florida, it seems only natural that Baptist Health would also invite community artists, schools and nonprofit organizations to use its flagship facility as a venue for performing arts and visual arts. In fact, a community gallery space was created for that purpose on the Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville campus, where exhibits routinely rotate in a specially lit corridor on the hospital’s first floor.
Whether it is through displaying professional artwork, inviting community-based performers to share their talents with patients and guests, or fostering patient participation in the creation of art, there is no doubt that the arts serve as an integral part of Baptist Health’s commitment to promote physical and emotional health and well-being throughout the community.
Article written by Beth Stambaugh