Arts-in-Heathcare - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Arts-in-Healthcare Program At Jackson Hospital Offers Patients A Creative Escape From Reality

Posted: Updated:

A program serving as an escape for sick patients in Marianna marks its one year anniversary.

The Arts in Healthcare program at Jackson Hospital kicked off this time last year offering patients the opportunity to embrace their creativity and focus on something other than what brings them there in the first place.

"I do all of these for my little boy," said Nancy Brown as she looks down at her artwork.

Brown has become quite the artist.

"I just like it," said Brown. "It just takes you to another place, instead of worrying and everything."

Brown depends on this hospital visit to survive with her condition, but receiving fresh frozen plasma with a pencil and sketchbook makes it a lot easier.

"Instead of feeling like oh my God I have to go spend eight hours at the hospital, I can come do art and have fun instead of being down on myself," said Brown.

The Arts-In-Healthcare program started a year ago at Jackson Hospital through grant money from the University of Florida and through the help of Artist-in-Residence Debra PelcMenacof.

"This has always been my goal through college," said PelcMenacof.

The local art studio owner comes every Wednesday to help patients embrace their creativity while they receive chemotherapy or blood infusions.

"And they are here for a long time, so this helps gets their mind of things, it relaxes them," said PelcMenacof.

She says they've even found patients' blood pressure to go down.

"A lot of the troubles or things we go through in this room, it's not there when we're doing our art," said Naomi Barbour. "That's the difference, it's just not there."

Naomi Barbour is battling breast cancer, but it's a fight better fought when she has a paintbrush in her hand.

"I tell them I would not come on a Tuesday, because I don't get to do the artwork, so I come on a Wednesday," said Barbour. 

The program has become a creative escape from reality one stroke at a time.

Arts In Healthcare will hold a celebration of their anniversary next Wednesday at 9 a.m. and feature artwork on display from patients like Brown and Barbour over the last year.