By Jude Keller

Sometimes just a moment is all we need to be inspired, to find peace, or to experience a new understanding. In 2015, Healing Arts, a program integrated with CREATION Health, provided over 50,000 of these moments to patients, families and visitors at our Adventist hospitals in Denver, Colorado.

Healing Arts is designed to intentionally integrate the arts into healthcare, creating an environment that doesn’t just treat illness, but provides an inspiration for living. Our program is funded solely by community donations to each Adventist hospital foundation and uses visual arts, music, nature, and community outreach to touch and inspire the spirit and heal the body.

Every day, we see how Healing Arts creates meaning, inspiration, and healing in the lives of our patients, families, and staff. How therapeutic bedside music profoundly touches our spirits; how a gentle hand or foot massage reduces the anxiety of a patient facing surgery; the delight of a concert in the lobby, and the inspiration that comes from an emotional connection to beautiful artwork in our hospital galleries.

Lynn, who was visiting her mother, recalled: “Gale, the harpist, stopped in my momma’s room today to ask gently if she could play for us. Our blessing came for our family by singing hymns together. We thank her and the hospital for the gift of music at this time of my momma’s dying days.”

Laurie, another visitor made a similar comment: “I was visiting a friend in ICU when I met the harpist. She was wonderful. While listening to her, my friend immediately fell asleep and I was reassured he was in good hands.”

“The art gallery is such a great way to spend a few relaxing minutes away from the stress of the day. It gives so much joy,” said Diana. One of the nurses commented, “When the flutist comes to the floor to play music, the patients smile, the mood lifts and the stress seems to dissipate. Thank you!”

An artist who created a quilted art piece for Parker Adventist Hospital Cancer Care Center said it beautifully: “My art piece, ‘Healing Winds’ was born from my own experience of caring for my father and a dear friend during their cancer battles. While talking to many others about their own journeys, the words ‘frayed at the edges’ kept coming to the surface, along with their hopes, dreams and fears. This piece embodies many months of hand stitching, praying for those who would see it and longing for the God who created them to lovingly touch people’s lives and bring wholeness.”

Jude Keller is director of the Healing Arts Program at the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation in Denver, Colorado.