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About Arts in Healthcare

Thank you for visiting the UK Arts in HealthCare website. Our program was conceived simultaneously with the design and planning for Pavilion A, the newest patient care facility at UK Chandler Hospital. In the ten years since the opening of Pavilion A in 2011, the support and response to our program has been overwhelmingly positive and validating. We constantly receive feedback in regards to the positive and healing presence of our visual and performing arts programming. Believe it or not, some people even come to our hospital just to see the art!

An ever-expanding body of research continues to support and demonstrate the importance of the arts with regards to human health and well-being. Our program's success affirms our belief that our efforts do have a positive impact on our patients, families, staff, physicians, students and visitors. Increasing data regarding the positive impact of the arts on patient stress, pain, length of stay, outcomes and more, are all good signs that we are committed to the right track.

As the UK Arts in HealthCare program continues to mature and grow, we remain committed to expanding and enhancing the ways in which we deliver the arts in a healthcare setting. 

As always, we look to philanthropy to support our work. If you have an interest in volunteering, providing financial support or assisting in furthering the program in any way, please contact us. We also value any and all feedback, comments and ideas.

"Art is not, as the meta-physicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored energy; it is not the expression of man's emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward the well-being of individuals and of humanity."

- Leo Tolstoy                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Mission

    “Our mission is to create an environment of care and to focus on the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of our patients, families, caregivers and staff. The program recognizes the arts and the artists as powerful and positive forces in the healing process.”

    - UK Arts in HealthCare

    As a member of the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH), UK Arts in HealthCare has built on the findings and successes of other programs across the country to create an arts in health program that is nationally recognized for excellence in the field and at the forefront of this movement.

    Artists seem to innately understand the crucial role the arts can play in human health and wellness. As proponents of the field of arts in health, artists are able to share valuable insights that help us to understand why the arts can have such a strong impact on our health. Several videos of prominent artists, commissioned to create major works for our facilities, were filmed to document the creative process. These artists shared valuable insights about their work and the ability to contribute to the healthcare environment. To view these featured artists videos please visit the Arts in HealthCare playlist on UK HealthCare's YouTube channel.

  • Meet Our Team

    Jason Akhtarekhavari - Arts in HealthCare Program Manager

    Phone: (859) 323-9896 Email:

    A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in History, Jason joined UK Arts in HealthCare in 2011 and assumed management of the program in mid-2018. As co-founder of the non-profit association CREATE, Jason is seeking to educate his local community and expand awareness of the health and wellness benefits of the arts. He serves on the UK HealthCare Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council as well as the UK Campus DEI Workgroup. He is also a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Board of Directors. Jason spends much of his free time creating mixed media visual art, singing, songwriting and authoring poems for his long-standing poetry site, His past professional experience includes business ownership, consulting, management and administration. When not immersed in the arts, Jason likes to travel and explore the outdoors.

    Sarah Timmons - Arts in HealthCare Specialist

    Phone: (859) 323-4446 Email:

    James Shambhu - Arts in HealthCare Specialist


  • Workshops & Engagement

    The UK Arts in HealthCare program seeks to serve our patients, staff, physicians and students as well as families and caregivers. Workshops are one way that we can effectively engage those we hope to serve while exposing them to the benefits of participating in arts related activities geared towards health and wellness. The two videos below feature one workshop for patients and another for staff/caregivers.

    Body Mapping

    This four-day workshop was made possible through the collaboration of The College of Fine Arts, the Ruth Hunt Wood Foundation, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), the UK Arts in HealthCare Program and the UK HealthCare transplant team. In February 2013, Zavier Verhoest of Kenya served as the facilitator for a four-day workshop with eight organ transplant patients. The workshop provided a healing journey and wonderful communal experience for the participants.


    Caring for the Caregiver

    In May 2013, 30 UK HealthCare nurses and nurse managers participated in a movement workshop conducted by Suzanne Costello of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater. Suzanne used movement to reinforce the need for caretakers to replenish themselves so they can take better care of patients. The nursing program plans to conduct a therapeutic workshop each year with a group of UK HealthCare nurses.

    Additional Staff and Physician Workshops

    ArtsCAFE - A 12 month pilot program serving General Surgery residents and their immediate family members. The program offered 12 different, monthly visual art making workshops led my professional artists.

    Recycled Medical Plastics Art Creation I - Staff from our Markey Cancer Center Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, working under the guidance of a local, professional artist, created a large communal work of art from small, recycled medical plastic pieces that had been collected by the unit. The finished piece now hangs proudly on the unit. It serves as a symbol of the staff's commitment to providing excellent patient care.

    Recycled Medical Plastics Art Creation II "The Unicorn" - Staff from the Kentucky Children's Hospital are creating a massive, 2-dimensional, pointillism-style unicorn where the points are created, predominantly, by using small, circular pieces of recycled medical plastics such as the caps and lids from various containers such as medications, tubes, vials, etc... To date, "The Unicorn" is very near completion and awaits his/her official naming. The finished piece will proudly be displayed at the Children's Hospital. Staff hope that it will serve as a symbol of inspiration and a wonderful photo opportunity for patients and their families.

  • Recognition for Excellence

    The UK Arts in HealthCare program was conceived prior to construction of the new pavilion (2011) at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. As a result, the art is integrated with the design of the building. This unusual circumstance and the program’s deliberate outreach to campus, community and regional art partners has garnered much recognition and acclaim.

    Governor's Awards in the Arts: The UK Arts in HealthCare Program was awarded the 2012 Business Award for the Arts. This is the commonwealth of Kentucky’s highest honor in the arts. The Governor’s Award recognizes organizations that have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky. The Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the nomination process for these awards.

    Medi-Star Awards: The UK Arts in HealthCare Program was awarded the 2013 Consumer First Award which honors an organization that has demonstrated the most consumer-friendly program or facility. This award was selected by the community.

    Design & Health International Academy Awards: AECOM, lead architects on the new pavilion at the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, submitted on behalf of the UK Arts in HealthCare program to the 2013 Design & Health International Academy Awards. Guests from all over the world attended the prestigious Design & Health International Academy Awards 2013 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia, on July 13, 2013, held during the 9th Design & Health World Congress & Exhibition.

    After receiving almost 100 submissions across 10 different categories in key areas of global health care delivery, judging panels from across the globe made their recommendations for this year’s winners. The University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital Arts in HealthCare program, commissioned by UK HealthCare and created by AECOM, was named the winner in the “use of Art in the Patient Environment” category.