New Haven, CT (PRWEB) November 16, 2013
Connecticut Hospice Arts Program’s extraordinary staff and volunteers have been named as one of five “In the Wings” awardees to be applauded at The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s annual Arts Awards Luncheon, Fri. Dec. 6 at the New Haven Lawn Club.
Nominated by members of the public, The Connecticut Hospice’s Arts Program was selected by The Arts Council for “the tireless work of staff and volunteers helping patients and families through physically and emotionally painful times, providing means of expression that celebrate life, create new memories, and bring beauty to those at the end of life’s journey.”
“The award is called ‘In the Wings’ - an appropriate theme, because we literally work in the hospital’s Sun and Star wings,” said Katherine Blossom, The Connecticut Hospice’s Arts Director. “It recognizes people who are not necessarily in the spotlight themselves but who bring the arts to individuals or to the community at large.”
While it may not always have been in the spotlight, the Connecticut Hospice’s unique Arts Program has always been in the forefront of arts in healthcare. In 1979 it was America’s first Hospice Arts Program, with an grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since then, the program has evolved and grown to include a robust staff, supported by volunteers and Master’s degree interns from several universities in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Florida. The program has long served as a model for those of other organizations across the country, and its work has been presented at educational conferences nationally and internationally.
An integral part of Hospice’s Interdisciplinary Team, the Arts Program serves patients and families at Connecticut Hospice’s Branford-based Advanced Palliative Care Hospital 365 days a year and also provides home care arts programming throughout the state. The program is staffed by a variety of artists, musicians, therapists, teachers, students and volunteers offering daily opportunities for expression, creativity and relief from stress, pain. All arts programs and events are offered without cost to patients or family participants. As an unfunded mandate that has always been required by the institution, the Arts Program continually seeks philanthropic funds to support its work.
Art exhibit – We received a letter from a patient and family of how exhibiting the patient’s works was a first for them and totally exhilarating. Patrons that reviewed the work were equally inspired.
“Through the arts we foster an environment of living,” said Blossom. “The arts empower patients and family members by giving them control and means of expression; they also allow people to say difficult things in a metaphorical or symbolic framework.
Our ongoing research teaches us that this work, when integrated with other clinical components, helps to alleviate pain and other associated symptoms for both patients and families, said Mrs. Marc Alphons Hurzeler, R.N., M.P.H. , H.A., President and CEO.
Community volunteers are actively recruited and always welcome, Blossom added. “Volunteers undergo thorough training and orientation, and the feedback we get from them is that working in our program has been richly rewarding, and in some cases has changed their lives.”
For more information on The Connecticut Hospice's Arts Program or volunteering, visit http://www.hospice.com or contact Katherine Blossom at 203-315-7510 kblossom(at)hospice(dot)com.