The arts bring humanity to healing, a process that is often frightening and full of unknowns. Research presented by the World Health Organization has shown that the arts can make a profound impact on patient experiences in hospitals, elder and hospice care, or those living at home with chronic diseases like cancer or Parkinson’s. Despite this, many health institutions do not have programs incorporating the arts. The National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) is committed to expanding awareness and acceptance of the arts as a vital component for healing, public health and wellbeing. As part of this commitment, NOAH has published the Core Curriculum for Arts in Health Professionals, which acts as the building block for professionalizing artists and arts managers who work in hospitals, public health, and other health-related settings.
Through no fault of their own, there has been a lack of standardized practice for artists working in healthcare. Artists may be qualified in their respective fields, however, the knowledge necessary to work in medical settings can be inadequate due to the lack of standardized educational resources available. NOAH’s Core Curriculum seeks to bridge these gaps in medical understanding and serve as a source of foundational, prerequisite, and essential knowledge required for all those working in arts in health.
“We created the Core Curriculum with over four dozen esteemed experts from across the country to provide guidelines for incorporating the arts into aspects of healthcare,” says President of NOAH, Barbara Steinhaus. “I hope this resource will create significant progress in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion when it comes to incorporating the arts into medical treatment, medical education, prevention, and public health and wellbeing.”
NOAH’s Core Curriculum for Arts in Health Professionals outlines the research and resources for implementing and successfully operating and evaluating arts in health programs. Implementing arts programs into the healthcare environment allows patients to heal holistically; body, mind, and soul. Increasingly, hospitals are embracing design, visual arts, and performing arts strategies to improve the patient experience, mitigate staff burnout and increase financial efficiencies.
Through the Core Curriculum, NOAH aims to provide confidence to healthcare organizations that the artistic professionals they are seeking to hire are qualified to work in a medical setting. Creating such standardization ensures artists can properly provide care, which is integral to patients’ health, wellbeing, and safety. Healthcare institutions that have integrated the arts find they have shorter patient stays, lower patient use of medications, improved patient satisfaction scores, and enhanced staff morale.
The National Organization of Arts in Health prides itself on the publication of the Core Curriculum and works further to professionalize the field through organization-wide resources. These resources range from annual conferences, newsletters, blogs, job opportunities, a networked map of the field where members can connect to others dedicated to this work, and memberships that offer additional professional opportunities. For more information about the National Organization for Arts in Health head to its website: https://thenoah.net/ and stay up to date via LinkedIn.
Established in 2016, The National Organization for Arts and Health roots go back to 1989 with the first gathering of hospital arts administrators in Durham, North Carolina. Since its founding, NOAH has been dedicated to uniting, advancing, and serving the field of arts in health and firmly believes arts in health are an integral component to health and wellbeing. NOAH’s members include artists, creative and expressive arts therapists, architects and designers, representatives of creative and cultural agencies, educators, administrators, doctors, nurses, and others working in medical care, medical education, and public health.
NOAH is committed to better defining, articulating, and sharing practices and research that foster diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion within all aspects of arts in health. NOAH aims to shape a reality where the arts are accepted and fully incorporated into medical treatment, medical education, prevention, and public health and wellbeing.