Inova Schar Cancer Institute Surrounds Patients with Healing Art

Inova is a leading nonprofit healthcare provider in Northern Virginia who serves more than 2 million individuals annually at their integrated network of five hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services, and destination institutes. The Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, has an award-winning Arts & Healing program that surrounds patients and their families with beauty and peace through art.  Madison Wealth Management’s President, Jim McDermott, CFP® witnessed the healing power of the arts first-hand at a recent reception hosted by Inova and supporters of this program.

Artist-in-Residence at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute shared their creative talents at the reception.  Guests enjoyed performances from a violinist, a harpist, a singer-songwriter, and a listener poet. Guests also took a tour of the expansive wall art and sculpture garden. Annually, the Artist-in-Residence program offers more than 2,000 direct healing interactions with patients and families. These artists share their unique creative processes with patients and caregivers, including family, friends, and healthcare providers, to help them heal through artistic expression.

Exposure to the arts and creative expression can often bring forth a transformative healing effect. Among the many benefits, research shows that the arts can reduce patients’ use of pain medication and length of hospital stays.

“Ginger” Mosaic

According to The Society for the Arts in Health Care, the arts benefit patients by:

  • Aiding in physical, mental, and emotional recovery by relieving anxiety and decreasing patients perception of pain
  • Serving as a therapeutic and healing tool, reducing stress and loneliness in an atmosphere where the patient often feels out of control
  • Helping people connect with their inner resources for healing through creative expression and giving voice to unspoken thoughts and feelings, assisting patients in expressing themselves and gaining insight

The arts can also benefit families, caregivers, and healthcare providers who are faced with the realities of human suffering and death daily. Inova hopes to expand this evidence-based healing program to its Loudoun County, Virginia hospital campus as well, where Jim serves on the Board of Trustees of the Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation. As community needs grow, support for these programs will help transform spaces into beautiful healing environments.

To learn more about the Artist-in-Residence program, click here: Arts and Healing program video. The video features powerful testimonials from leading supporters of Arts and Healing at Inova Schar Cancer Institute.