Literature & Medicine provides a rare opportunity for a cross section of health care professionals with diverse backgrounds to be seated around a hospital conference table together. The common denominator is the reading material in their hands and the program that brings them together--Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care®.
The national program, created by the Maine Humanities Council, encourages participants to connect their professional lives with the broader scope of the human experience. That connection is facilitated with scholar-led discussions on a variety of literature. Participants report deeper empathy for patients and fellow staff, better communication skills, and increased job satisfaction. Oklahoma is now one of 26 states hosting this program.
The program will include six sessions, held monthly at a hospital. A scholar, with at least a MA in literature or another humanities-based field, will create a syllabus for the program readings and facilitate the discussion of the six sessions. The readings will be based in fiction, non-fiction, plays, or poetry. Each syllabus will be tailored for each hospital and may encompass particular areas of interest or concern.
The Oklahoma Humanities Council has set a maximum of 25 participants. This number will be large enough to allow for a more varied discussion but small enough to allow all members to be able to voice their opinions. The program is open to all professionals in the hospital community (nurses, doctors, dietitians, receptionists, administrators, etc.), and diversity in participants will be sought. Each participant will be encouraged to commit to all six sessions.
Program sessions will be held in the evening and include a communal meal provided by the participants or the hospital. A hospital liaison will distribute the reading handouts, books, text, and the syllabus prior to each meeting. The scholar will facilitate each session by incorporating and centering all conversation on the readings for the session.
For more information on how your health care institution can participate, contact Kelly Elsey, Program Officer at 405/235-0280 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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