University of Florida Arts and Medicine

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary action.

As the 2020 pandemic began to impact Florida, it was clear that the event would touch every aspect of our lives, and as a health institution, UF Health would be called upon to navigate an uncertain future

An essential component to this successful development and rapid deployment of artistic service lies in our program’s full integration in to the hospital culture. Our Nurse coordinator became the artists’ eyes and ears on units, connecting with colleagues and accessing patients through existing structures to facilitate technology based arts engagement on an institutional scale.

AIM to Connect, an internet based platform has both a public and private facing environment allowing the population at large to access our artistic and wellness services, as well as, allowing patients to “self-serve” through the hospital’s in room information delivery system. Each patient room’s iPad now has a simple one touch icon directing them to audio and video content developed by our musicians, artists and integrative therapists design to alleviate stress and encourage creative wellness.

Zoom to the Room allows for a personalized, patient driven experience that mirrors our on-site practice. Artists can collaborate individually or in teams with patients wanting to engage in visual art, music, and songwriting. And added opportunity has been our ability to provide continuity of care for patients to stay connected to our team or artists from home once discharged from the hospital.

Zoom for Community – After the closure of key community centers that hosted many of our classes, our instructors developed quick connections to their constituents, offering all workshops on-line. As a result, our Dance for Parkinson’s patients, Dance for MS, Dance for Life, Encore Dancers, Art in Motion and Gentle Yoga for Health have continued un-interrupted with many of these services experience an increase in participation. Those who were isolated at home are now part of a community.

Shift Change Serenades – musicians positioned at building exits providing music as staff leave the buildings.

Chalk the Walk – artists provide messages of encouragement for front line workers

Daily Drop In – Visual art, mindful movement, and writing techniques designed to help staff in quarantine find stability, resiliency, and a sense of control during required isolation.

Art Kit Stations – strategically placed art kits designed to support patients using AIM to Connect visual art activities. Kits are labeled and easily accessible by nursing staff,

At UF Health Arts in Medicine, our team’s ability to pivot and create allowed us to continue to reach the people we serve, and to develop new opportunities for the arts to enhance lives. Our team of talented artists took this moment as a call to action, thriving amidst crisis, using the arts to remain connected to our collective humanity.