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Owensboro Health uses art in all forms to help heal patients

August 9, 2019

Owensboro Symphony Orchestra violinist Lacy Jean plays in the lobby of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital as a part of their Arts in Healing program. | Photo by Ashley Sorce

According to Owensboro Health officials, healing patients requires more than just medicine. One of the hospital’s fundamental priorities is a program called Arts in Healing, offering patients access to music, performances and visual art in order to promote the healing process.

On Thursday, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra supplied live music in the lobby of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital by way of OSO violinist Lacy Jean.

“Music is a common denominator for everyone regardless of condition or ability to move around,” said Erica Wade, community outreach specialist for Owensboro Health.

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Jeremy Stephens, OSO director of operations, said Thursday’s performance was a melding of programs.

“We offer a ‘Music on Call’ program, which was funded by an Owensboro Health grant,” he said. “We’ve been doing that for four years. We basically will play anywhere outside the concert hall.”

Stephens said OSO has offered free music to assisted living facilities, schools, even a “random act of music” in Walmart, where musicians started playing in the store’s aisles.

“We believe it’s not only enjoyable, but it betters people’s lives,” Stephens said.

Owensboro Health holds the same opinion, making all art forms available to patients, oftentimes bringing their programs to their bedsides.

Performances like Thursday’s violin concert were both live streamed and recorded for the hospital’s television channel, which is available in all patient rooms. Past performances have included vocalists, Theatre Workshop of Owensboro’s Cabaret and dancers. They offer Arts in Healing performances every first Thursday of the month from 12 to 1 p.m.

The hospital also offers an art cart, a mobile art station, that is stocked with puzzles, magazines seedlings projects, coloring books, journals devotionals and a plethora of art supplies.

“It breaks the monotony,” Wade said. “It stimulates the patients’ brains and is soothing.”

Wade said Owensboro Health also values visual art, designing the hospital with a different theme for each floor. The latest installation will be a community painting from the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market, which was led by the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts.

August 9, 2019

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