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OHC Offers Program to Breathe New Life into Healthcare Community

OHC Offers Program to Breathe New Life into Healthcare Community

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) is offering a unique opportunity to healthcare organizations across the state called Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare. This national reading and discussion program, created by the Maine Humanities Council, encourages healthcare workers to connect their professional lives with the broader scope of the human experience. Oklahoma is one of 26 states that provide this program.

The program brings healthcare workers together to meet over a period of a few months at their own facility, share a meal, and read literary selections that frame discussions on topics of importance to their work. The program is open to all professionals at the facility: doctors, nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers, ethicists . . . anyone who has a role in patient care. A scholar who holds an advanced degree in a humanities field collaborates with the healthcare facility to identify the readings that address the needs of the participants and then leads the discussions. Some topics in the program have focused on death and dying, the role of the healthcare worker, the special needs of veterans, and ethical questions.

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama may be included in the group’s reading materials. Following the narrative of others’ lives can help increase the understanding of patients’ needs. This in turn builds empathy for the patient. In addition, spending time with colleagues in an informal setting increases job satisfaction. Hospitals and clinics report many benefits for their employees. “We hope that as participants explore the texts, they will acquire new insight into the patient’s perspective, gain respect for their colleagues, and feel revitalized in their work,” says Kelly Elsey, OHC Program Officer.

Additional information about this program can be found at www.okhumanities.org/literature-medicine or contact Kelly Elsey at (405) 235-0280 or kelly@okhumanities.org.


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