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p h i l a m e d s o c  .org


Wellness Corner


A Powerful Combination
in Our Area


hen it comes to advocating for the arts, the mantra of
the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is "Data +
Stories = Proof." Tasked with making the case for arts
and culture to civic influencers and elected officials at every level,
the Cultural Alliance has turned that equation into the Agenda series,
the latest issue of which, Agenda: Wellness, premieres on April 27,
2018, at Jefferson University's "Fusion: Innovation Across Disciplines"
symposium. The Philadelphia County Medical Society is proud to
partner with the Cultural Alliance on Agenda: Wellness.
The Cultural Alliance developed the Agenda series in 2016 to
expand the case for supporting the arts from focusing just on economic impact to highlighting the positive social and community
impacts as well. The data around economic impact is important,
but it's the stories about arts programs improving people's lives that
really engage and inspire. Empowering individuals to advocate for
the arts means equipping them with the tools to tell those stories.
Out of that, Agenda was produced to be an easy-to-use print piece
that pairs existing data with stories from the Philadelphia region, just
as easily presented to grassroots community groups as to members
of Congress. Each edition of the series focuses on a different civic
issue. Agenda: Pre-K was released in 2017, and Agenda: Wellness is
coming out this spring.

The confluence of a nationally recognized arts sector with the
region's powerhouse "Eds & Meds" industry makes Agenda: Wellness an
obvious choice for the series. Research coming out of the University
of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of
Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as newly
integrated arts and culture curricula and arts partnerships at Temple
University and Jefferson University, are creating new conversations
around how art can improve outcomes, not only in patients, but in
the medical profession itself.
While the impact of art on patient outcomes is well-documented
- in fact, art therapy for patients at Walter Reed National Military
Medical Center was highlighted by the House Appropriations
Committee in its FY2018 budget recommendation for maintaining
funding for the National Endowment for the Arts - research on the
impact of arts in the education of medical professionals is newer and
just as encouraging. Narrative medicine, like the programming at
Temple University (which was highlighted in the winter 2018 issue
of Philadelphia Medicine), or integrating humanities into medical
school curriculum, as at Jefferson University, support the argument
that the health care profession values the positive impacts of arts and
culture more than ever before.
32 Philadelphia Medicine : Spring 2018

Arts and medicine have a robust relationship in our area. Cultural Alliance staff often recount what happened when Children's
Hospital of Philadelphia put out a request for volunteer piano
players through the Cultural Alliance's online presence. After just
two days, CHOP asked that the request be taken down, after the
hospital received hundreds of volunteer offers from musicians to
play for CHOP patients.
The city's rich cultural and medical histories have long intersected:
famed painter Thomas Eakins immortalized Philadelphia's medical
leaders with his Gross Clinic (1875) and Agnew Clinic (1889), and
the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians remains a popular
cultural destination for locals and tourists alike. Agenda: Wellness
draws on this legacy to make a stronger argument for supporting the
arts to leaders and elected officials who are influenced by, interested
in, or connected to the medical community.
The Agenda series is written by Anne Marie Rhoades, vice president
of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships; overseen by Michael Norris,
chief strategy officer, and Kristen Vinh, strategic communications
manager; and designed and produced by SWELL. Future editions
will focus on the intersection of the arts with other important civic
issues (e.g., criminal justice reform).
For more information on Agenda: Wellness go to www. philaculture.
org/wellness. *


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