As a doctor focused on international health, Dr. Iva Fattorini has had the opportunity to observe many patients from around the world and the ways in which they deal with their treatment. She noticed that for many patients once the medical tests are done, so much of their time is spent waiting. They are essentially left to watch the clock because many hospitals do not provide additional stimulation beyond the basics of treatment for their patients. Dr. Fattorini believes that a hospital stay should be able to do more than just treat the body, hospitals should also offer chances for mental and even spiritual growth through the arts.
When a patient is in hospital for a life threatening illness, there is often a moment of self-reflection that is stronger than can be experienced by a person who is not being forced to confront their own mortality. Dr. Fattorini believes that this is a moment in which healthcare providers should be providing something new and beautiful to that patient's life. While the idea of art and medicine intersecting is not a completely novel idea, it is one that Dr. Fattorini and the staff at the Cleveland Clinic have been able to refine in ways that ensure a patient's complete being is attended to while they are in the hospital.
Dr. Fattorini is taking the connection between the arts & health to the next level with her newest program. Artocene is focused on ensuring that all patients and their caregivers have access to as many forms of art as possible in healthcare facilities. Her organization, Artocene, works to "activate the latent therapeutic power of art" in a way that not only makes a stay in the hospital more enjoyable but may also have a powerful impact on the healing process.
Often when we think of the practice of medicine we think in very clinical terms; white lab coats, clinical language and hospital beds in very sterile, white rooms. But as Dr. Iva Fattorini explains to Deepak Chopra, the hospital is not just a place that people pass though quickly. "It's not like an airport, it's not like a hotel; a hospital becomes their home." It becomes critical that in treating the body, the mind is not forgotten. Dr. Fattorini's vision has been "to infuse the hospital environment with the energy and vitality of the arts." Art has the ability to bring patients to a place where they are mentally prepared to begin the healing process and for that reason Dr. Fattorini believes that art and medicine have a unique and significant connection that should not be overlooked.
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