Hershey Medical Center gathers artists, researchers for collaboration, education

David Rodgers looks over “Stigma People,” the work of Dan DiFava, an environmental health worker at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, during the Arts in Health Symposium. Credit: Penn State Health / Penn StateCreative Commons

HERSHEY, Pa. — Artists, health care providers, administrators and researchers from across Pennsylvania gathered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for the Arts in Health Symposium on April 4 and 5. Those who attended danced, listened to music, admired artwork and heard from experts about how to successfully integrate the arts into health care.

Claire de Boer, director of Center Stage Arts in Health in the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, and her colleagues led the planning of the symposium. Pennsylvania Council on the Arts sponsored the event.

De Boer is a governing member of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH). Leadership of the organization plans to use the event as a model for future regional arts in health symposiums across the country.

Organizers identified networking as one of two goals for the event.

“A lot of people want to know who is doing what in the field and who they should contact,” de Boer said. The symposium was designed to connect three types of people who form a triad for effective arts in health research: clinicians, artists and researchers.