UK HealthCare

Art in Healing Pilot Program Launches at Markey Cancer Center


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 26, 2011) — A former UK transplant patient, Linda Angelo, discovered during her recovery process the power of art in healing. Her love for art and belief in its healing power is something she has held onto even after recovery, and is something she wants to pass on to other patients.

"Art is a part of my life," Angelo said. “It helped get me through my time in the hospital and the months of recovery afterward. It is a way of expressing what you're going through and helps you to feel like more of a full human being, and not just the person with the IV lines, drains and lab values." 

After discussions with the UK Arts in HealthCare program director, Jackie Hamilton, the idea was born to pilot a program of art in healing to the chemotherapy patients at UK HealthCare's Markey Cancer Center, "Take an Art Break."  

"Art is powerful and these patients often have many visits of a significant duration," Hamilton said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to engage our patients in something beautiful and lovely during their stay, and we are excited to begin that at the Markey Cancer Center."   

The program, launched by the faculty and staff members in the chemotherapy suite, is designed to provide an outlet for patients' thoughts, concerns, fears and hopes.

"Cancer is a frightening diagnosis and chemotherapy is an uncertain experience," said Ann Smith, chief administrative officer at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. "Having a creative outlet during this time allows an expression not easily conveyed verbally.  Art gives us a chance to express pain, uncertainty, fear, and even anger, and still provides a sense of peace and sharing.  I'm thrilled we are now able to offer our patients this type of emotional care on a very special level."

The faculty and staff members, whose art work is currently displayed in the lobby of the Whitney-Hendrickson Building, will be able to assist chemotherapy patients with their art work.

The patients' own personal art folders will be available for them if they want to draw, use color or words to express themselves and give them something else to focus on during their visit.  The patients will have the opportunity to keep their own personal folder of artwork at the hospital, or take it home with them. If this program is successful, it will be launched into other areas of UK HealthCare.

For more information about the UK Arts in HealthCare program, visit

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