VERMILLION — Sanford Arts Vermillion, represented by Ariadne Albright, MFA, Program Coordinator participated in the Mayo Clinic Regional Arts in Healthcare Symposium. During the two-day conference held in mid-November, nearly 50 presenters addressed a broad range of topics related to best practices and new innovations that integrate the arts and humanities across a variety of health disciplines including arts and music therapy, narrative medicine, medical education and research and within the full spectrum of health related environments including inpatient, outpatient, classroom and community settings.

The conference, conducted by joint providers: Mayo Clinic; DMC a Global Destination for Health & Healing and University of Minnesota Rochester and Arts & Health Alliance, took place at Rochester, Minnesota.

More than 135 attendees including arts and health practitioners, artists, healthcare providers, arts directors, therapists, architects, designers, administrators, educators and students.

Albright reports, “Our SAV presentations continue to move audiences because of the enhanced wellness and reduction of psychotropic medication use among the Care Center residents in the past 20 months. Art-making serves as a positive alternative that supports wellness and whole life care among the residents of the Sanford Care Center Vermillion.”

The presentation, The Power of Arts Invitation: Supporting Wellness and Our Elderly, describes the changes in the work place culture (aesthetically, emotionally and behaviorally) as a result of arts engagement programming; explores collaborative and individual art projects designed for participants at long-term care facilities and identified numerous invitation strategies to enhance participation and deepen arts engagement experience of patients and providers.

Nationwide, more than 25 percent of residents in nursing homes receive psychotropic medications. In 2012, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the “National Initiative to Improve Behavioral Health & Reduce the Use of Antipsychotic Medication in Nursing Home Residents.” A Sanford Initiative & Team Reduction Group was formed to respond to this initiative. One approach to increase care planning for individuals is the arts engagement programing of Sanford Arts Vermillion.

The feedback at the Mayo Clinic Symposium was — among artist presenters, we were unique because of the quantitative research presented in conjunction with the positive case studies (qualitative research). Albright also shared special thanks to the Sanford Vermillion team who coordinated this data: Gayle Matzke, Director of Nursing, Melissa Langle-Lee, Social Worker, and Jill Christopherson, Executive Assistant.

“I was honored to share our best practices with the symposium attendees and continue the conversation about wellness among older adults with memory loss and care for caregivers among our northern colleagues,” commented Albright.

“The networking and advocacy was inspiring and I look forward to Arts and Healthcare programming expanding in South Dakota. Thank you Dakota Hospital Foundation for making this presentation possible,” concluded Ari. 

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