Navigation Links
Thomas Jefferson University, in Collaboration with ARTZ Philadelphia and Theater of Witness, Awarded Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for Empathy Program

Thomas Jefferson University, in collaboration with ARTZ Philadelphia and Theater of Witness, was awarded a $300,000 grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to build on Jefferson’s growing humanities program which fosters empathy, comfort with ambiguity and the recognition of one’s own limits among health professions students.

The two-year project will build on ARTZ@Jefferson, a year-old collaboration between Thomas Jefferson University and ARTZ Philadelphia, in which people living with dementia and their care partners become mentors to Jefferson health professions students. Now, this Pew-funded expansion will join artists, medical students, people living with dementia and their care partners in a creative process of empathy-building, storytelling and relationship-forming that will culminate in an original theater performance work. Furthering Jefferson’s development of creative instruction at the intersection of art, healthcare and wellness, the program is guided by the principle that the arts provide a rich context for applying habits of emotional intelligence that are essential to the successful practice of medicine.

“Thomas Jefferson University is deeply committed to exploring innovative, arts-based methods for sustaining empathy,” said Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities at Thomas Jefferson University. “We believe that medicine is a performative and relational art as well as a science, and that empathy is a process of authentic dialogue and relationship-building that cannot be taught through textbooks.”

Thomas Jefferson University is partnering with two Philadelphia-based organizations on the grant. Together, the team is building an integrated curriculum that will identify and weave together common themes that run through all of the program’s experiences. Through ARTZ Philadelphia, approximately 80 people living with dementia and their care partners will become mentors to students by engaging in a series of intimate conversations generated by arts-based experiences and punctuated by facilitated learning sessions. The course is designed to engage students in first understanding people as people and only second as patients.

Working with Theater of Witness, which produces testimonial performances, students will practice deep listening and develop autobiographic and partner pieces within the classroom setting. Teya Sepinuck, founder and artistic director, will lead listening circles of students who will engage in sharing their own stories through a variety of creative processes. A select group will work with Sepinuck over an extended period of time to develop a full Theater of Witness production about what it means to become a healer.

“Our organization is committed to creating theater that gives voice to those whose stories haven’t been heard,” said Sepinuck. “We are thrilled to help Jefferson create the next generation of healers, people who listen through their hearts as well as their stethoscopes.”

Susan Shifrin, Ph.D., is director of ARTZ@Jefferson and founding director of ARTZ Philadelphia, which provides art-making and conversation programs for people with dementia and their care partners, some of whom will serve as mentors to the participating students.

“There is only one set of experts when it comes to living with dementia – the person with dementia and their care partner. Our program provides a safe, mutually-respectful forum where the stigma of dementia can be dismantled and students can learn from the experts. This upends the historically fraught relationship between people with dementia and the medical establishment,” said Shifrin. “Also, by exploring their own vulnerabilities, we hope that these future health professionals will be able to respond more authentically to others’ vulnerabilities as they move forward in their careers.”

Jefferson has a rich history of researching empathy in medicine and using humanities-based programs to cultivate emotional intelligence in students. Created at Jefferson and widely used by researchers, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy is a validated, 20-item scale that is designed to measure empathy in physicians and other practicing healthcare professionals, medical students and other health professions students. It has been translated into 47 languages and has been used in more than 70 countries. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy will be used in this project to evaluate quantitative outcomes. Qualitative outcomes will be evaluated by the expertise of an ethnographer.

“At Jefferson, we have a longstanding tradition of using humanities-based programs to educate the future healthcare teams and leaders,” said Charles Pohl, MD, Associate Provost for Student Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University and Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. “Through the generous support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, our program not only has the opportunity to develop the necessary qualities such as empathy, tolerance of ambiguity, team-based learning, communication skills to provide high quality care, but also enable our students to be mentored and learn from people with chronic disease as well as create a space for the voices of people with dementia, artists and healthcare students to be heard.”


About Jefferson
Jefferson, through its academic and clinical entities of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, including Abington Health and Aria Health, is reimagining health care for the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey. Jefferson has 23,000 people dedicated to providing the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educating the health professionals of tomorrow, and discovering new treatments and therapies to define the future of care. With a university and hospital that date back to 1824, today Jefferson is comprised of six colleges, nine hospitals, 35 outpatient and urgent care locations, and a multitude of physician practices throughout the region, serving more than 100,000 inpatients, 373,000 emergency patients and 2.2 million outpatients annually.

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2017 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Author Kurt Thomas Wolff's Newly Released “Rebirth-A Story of Infinite Love” is a Touching Story Illustrating the Impact One Person Can Have Upon the Lives of Others
2. Dr. Thomas Huebner Named Senior Physician at Natural Transplants Maryland
3. Practical Data Solutions (PDS) Welcomes Thomas Parry as National Sales Director
4. Author Rev. Dr. Robert W. Thomas's newly released “Some Infallible Characteristics of Christ” is a glimpse into the greatness of our Lord and Savior
5. Saint Thomas Health Offers Virtual Care Clinic Anytime, Anywhere in Tennessee
6. Author Thomas Fitzhugh Sheets’s Newly Released “The Road To Restoration” is an In Depth Look at what the Bible says about Jesus’ Message for Christians About Salvation
7. Final Sprint is on for 2017 California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants
8. Thomas Webster Wins Chinese Academy of Sciences’ 2016 Lee Hsun Lecture Award
9. Nicole B. Thomas Named as Baptist Health's First Female Hospital President
10. Celebrity Thomas Francis Murphy Gives Tips About Riding Horses He Learned While Filming Free State of Jones
11. Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality: Abington Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/18/2019)... PLEASANTON, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... June 18, 2019 ... ... (NYSE:TFX) focused on addressing unmet needs in the field of urology, today announced ... designated as a UroLift® Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes that Dr. Aaron ...
(Date:6/16/2019)... ... 15, 2019 , ... All families go through tough times. When parents face ... lack of a support network, they may be unable to care for their children. ... home and place them with a relative, familiar caregiver or foster family while they ...
(Date:6/14/2019)... ... June 14, 2019 , ... ... Mattress & Pink Bag Event® scheduled for Saturday, July 13th. UBCF is thrilled ... and children directly impacted by breast cancer. This second event was added after ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... DETROIT (PRWEB) , ... June 13, 2019 , ... Endometriosis is a painful, inflammatory disease ... , Painful periods , Heavy bleeding , ... Constipation , Women’s Excellence uses the latest and newest treatment protocols in ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... ... June 13, 2019 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased ... accepted by the 2019 National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments for screening milk ... Charm BL30SEC test was validated by third party laboratories working in collaboration with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/14/2019)... ... 14, 2019 , ... Life Molecular Imaging (LMI) and Chulabhorn ... a research collaboration to investigate the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary Tau ... recruited and imaged. LMI and Chulabhorn Royal Academy leveraged their joint resources to ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... June 13, 2019 , ... ... thrilled to open its doors to a wellness center dedicated to realizing your ... of Atagi Plastic Surgery & Skin Aesthetics, BESANA Health & Wellness offers a ...
(Date:6/13/2019)... SHORE, N.Y. (PRWEB) , ... June 13, 2019 ... ... IP audio/video recording, IoT sensor technology and passive visual weapons detection systems, is ... Sensor and Milestone XProtect®. As a verified technology partner IPVideo’s award-winning ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: