Two of the inpatient wards at the Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) will be much more cheerful with the addition of local photographs for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. KDH has teamed up with the North Grenville Photography Club to organize their new Art for Inpatients initiative, which has provided 20 local photographs for the hospital’s medical surgical and interim long-term care wards.
Hospitals have become synonymous with white walls and cold, stark rooms. However, studies have shown the true healing power of nature and art. It has been proven that patients who have access to a window need less pain medication, and having art around them improves outcomes overall. KDH Communications Officer, Jenny Read, says that the hospital started tapping into the healing power of art in 2014, with a partnership with the Art of Healing Foundation based out of Montreal. Art provided by that program was placed in the clinic spaces and common areas. “The next phase was to bring art to the inpatient units,” she says.
KDH started talking with the North Grenville Photography Club a couple years ago about bringing some of their photographs to the hospital. They wanted a variety of photos that included lots of nature scenes, which have been proven to be particularly good for healing, as well as local scenes to make their patients feel more at home. “Our inpatients tend to be from the local area, and we felt these scenes would bring back happy memories,” says Jenny.
The North Grenville Photography Club provided KDH with a variety of different images and, with the help of the hospital’s nursing staff, they picked 20 which they thought would be calming additions to the hospital’s inpatient units. The photos include images of flowers, birds, and landscapes, as well as local landmarks like downtown Kemptville, the Andrewsville Lock, and the lighthouse in Prescott.
“This partnership with the North Grenville Photography Club is unique, as our other partners are health and social service organizations,” KDH CEO, Frank Vassallo, said at the showcase that launched the initiative last week. “I believe it is a great example of KDH thinking outside the box to enhance the patient, family, and caregiver experience as a result of our organizational commitment to Patient and Family Centered Care.”
North Grenville Photography Club spokesperson, Jancy Watkins, says the club is very excited to be a part of this project. The club gets together once a month to share their passion for photography, and their spirit and generosity often extends into the community. Their work appears regularly in the NG Times. “We commend you for recognizing the benefit of art and making this happen,” she said at the showcase. “We hope our work will be enjoyed by people in need of healing for years to come.”