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17 Museum Making Connections Arts In Medicine For more than 10 years HMA has had the idea of working with patients in hospitals to provide an outlet of creativity through art making. Knowing the value of the arts in helping people to process their way through difficult situations we believed it seemed like a perfect fit to bring engaging art materials into hospitals to help patients pass the time in a positive way. This idea hatched by then director Margaret Mary Layne and education director Katherine Cox simmered for years. Finally in October 2013 HMAs art teachers Shelby Spence and Sydni Bibb rolled containers spilling over with art materi- als into the chemotherapy infusion centers of the Edwards Com- prehensive Care Center and St. Marys Medical Center. This was the beginning of the Huntington Museum of Arts Arts In Medicine program. Before HMAs art teachers began working with the patients we had several meetings with hospital staff. It was important for the supervisors staff and nurses in the infusion centers to be welcoming to the program. Everyone was receptive to our ideas the art projects we proposed and the samples we brought. Robin Rowe St Marys Director of Patient Experience and a cancer survivor provided valuable insight as we began the pro- gram saying art making would provide a pleasant therapeutic distraction helping patients to take their minds off of their dif- ficulty for a few minutes. Now in its second year HMA visits the Edwards Comprehen- sive Cancer Center and St Marys Medical Center infusion cen- ters every week providing art-making experiences for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. HMA teachers are a posi- tive and refreshing presence in an otherwise difficult and chal- lenging time. Chad Schaeffer from the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center says This program has been an inspiring addition to our treatment services. It has grown into a therapy all its own that helps us treat the whole patient in mind and body. Many patients request to have their treatments on the days they know HMA will be there. HMA teacher Shelby Spence had worked with chemo patient Deborah OHara several times. Unbeknownst to Shelby when the above picture was taken it was Deborahs last cancer treatment. When Shelby found this out she was extremely happy for Deborahs successful treatment pro- gram but also sad that they would be saying good-bye to each other and not making art together anymore. The bonds that grow between the patients and the artists are strong and meaningful. HMAs Arts In Medicine program utilizes the arts to provide opportunities for self-expression for patients who are undergoing extreme difficulty. When the patients work through an art project they experience success and feel pride in their accomplishments. While the circumstances of their disease oftentimes cause them to feel powerless when they focus on something positive using their hands and minds to create they feel empowered. HMA art teacher Shelby Spence helps a patient work on a bracelet. HMA art teacher Shelby Spence helps Deborah OHara make a bracelet at the Edwards Comprehensive Care Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Robin Rowe St Marys Director of Patient Experience meets with HMA art teacher Shelby Spence at St. Marys Medical Center.