Arts-in-Medicine Receives National Award

The UNM Arts in Medicine Program has received one of 18 grants awarded annually by the Johnson & Johnson/Society for Arts in Healthcare Partnership to create an innovated pilot project involving art as therapy for cancer patients, family members and caregivers.

With the award, University of New Mexico Hospital, UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center, in partnership with UNM College of Fine Arts and Department of Music will receive funding to design and implement the Open Book Project serving approximately 756 cancer patients, family members and caregivers in the spring and fall semesters of 2005.

"We're grateful to Johnson & Johnson and the Society for Arts in Healthcare and thrilled to expand our work in the Cancer Center as we implement the Open Book Project," said Patrice Repar, director of the UNM Arts in Medicine Program.

Accompanied by live music, patients will create a book or journal (with poetry, images, creative exercises, art/health resources) particular to their needs and interests, in collaboration with an artist-in-medicine. The book-journal will travel to and from hospital with the patient, empowering and nurturing them as they engage in life review and reconstruct their lives in the midst of illness.

"What has made our program special is the fact that we are innovating on three fronts: clinical work, education, and research and this is made possible only through the collaborative efforts of people from many different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. With this grant, we will build on our past successes and hopefully, create something that, in turn, will become a building block to success for cancer patients and their families," said Repar.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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