U.S. healthcare institutions increasingly integrate screenings for social needs into standard care, and help meet those needs by referring patients to community-based resources. However, community arts/culture assets are not commonly included among those resources. Given growing evidence of the positive health impacts of arts/culture, and given that access to these benefits remains inequitable, this article argues for the integration of arts/culture resources into healthcare referral networks. It highlights two early models, the CultureRx initiative in Massachusetts and Creative Forces, both of which piloted this integration with promising results. It also offers suggestions for better utilizing local arts/culture assets, emphasizing that these existing community resources can and should be applied to advance whole-person strategies and better address social drivers of health.

Golden TL, Feldmeth G, Terry A, Ahmadi-Montecalvo H. Arts and Culture: A Necessary Component to Address Unmet Social Needs and Advance Individual and Community Well-Being. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2023;0(0). doi:10.1177/08901171231188191

Authors include NOAH member Tasha L. Golden PhD

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