Tulane Medical Center December 18, 2017

Works of art created by patients, staff, caregivers and local artists now brighten the walls outside of Tulane Health System’s Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit, which unveiled its newly renovated, state-of-the-art patient care unit at Tulane Medical Center in October 2017. The art makes up the “A Walk to Welcome You” exhibit organized by the Tulane Arts in Medicine program with help from the Arts Council New Orleans.

“A Walk to Welcome You” is comprised of 16 pieces, mostly paintings and drawings. Some of the pieces are on loan from the private collection of the Arts Council New Orleans. The exhibit is displayed along the walls of a hallway leading to the Blood and Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant unit’s patient care areas. It includes works of art in mixed media, acrylic and oil paints, ink, pencil, handmade paper and watercolor. While the art is not for sale, artists may be contacted to learn more about their work.

Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants and stem cell therapies often spend long periods of time in the hospital. Including this special artwork as part of the new unit is one way to inspire patients to create their own art through Tulane’s Arts in Medicine (AIM) program. The AIM program provides arts-related workshops, activities and performances for patients, their caregivers, and staff. AIM recognizes the integral role of the arts in healing the spirit and transforming the treatment experience. Creative outlets help to reduce stress, anxiety, boredom and the perception of pain.

This exhibit is also an opportunity for local artists to give back and be part of something that brings joy to patients. It is important to bring the culture and vibe of New Orleans inside the hospital to help encourage patients and add creativity to indoor spaces. 

“The new Bone Marrow Transplant unit was built for the comfort and emotional well-being of patients and their family members, and this art exhibit contributes to that goal. Patients and family members enjoy browsing the exhibit and reading the stories behind each piece,” said Kristen Goff, clinical manager, Bone Marrow Transplant.

Julie Connelly, arts in medicine coordinator, adds, “This collaborate effort incorporates works of art that are all very different and have a unique story. And together they create something amazing.”

New pieces of photography, paintings or drawings can be donated by patients or people affected by cancer or other illnesses, to add to “A Walk to Welcome You.” To donate art, contact Julie Connelly, arts in medicine coordinator, at Julie.connelly@hcahealthcare.com.

Founded in 1994, the Tulane Bone Marrow Transplant program takes a multidisciplinary approach to stem cell transplantation, which ensures patients stay connected to an entire care team of oncologists, hematologists, psychologists, nursing specialists, laboratory technicians and social workers. The program also provides access to stem cell transplant clinical trial options, which allow patients the opportunity to participate in promising therapies early in their development.

Tulane’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program is accredited by the internationally recognized Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the Commission on Cancer and part of the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network.  It is a FACT-accredited adult center for both autologous and allogeneic transplants, performing related and unrelated donor transplants. Additionally, it is the only National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) transplant, apheresis and collection center for adults in Louisiana.