In the Princeton Health Care Action Framework (July, 2013), the development of a “more welcoming and healing space for patients in the health care buildings” was identified as an important component.
An aesthetic improvement working group called ‘Art for Health’ was formed, comprising Nienke Klaver, Merrilyn Huycke, Susan Delatour, and Ed Staples.
There is extensive evidence supporting the benefits of enhancing health care facilities for patients:
In a 2002 study completed by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the UK, they concluded that “placing original artworks within the healthcare environment can:
- reduce levels of anxiety, stress and depression
- reduce patientsʼ length of stay in the hospital
- reduce the use of some medications
- improve communication between patients and healthcare professionals”
On March 13 Merrilyn Huycke’s mural was installed in the lobby of the hospital. This is the fourth project of the ‘Art for Health’ committee. The first 3 being: a Japanese garden at the entrance of the hospital, a Children’s Corner at Cascade Medical Clinic, and several new framed posters in the hallways. Staples is currently fashioning a ceramic tile mural for the nurses station.
While none of the contributing artists are paid for their creations, the Princeton Arts Council is reimbursing the artists for most materials.