Misericordia University to Host “Arts in Healthcare”

Misericordia University will host “Arts in Healthcare,” a group art exhibition in the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery that examines the benefits of art in the health care environment, from Friday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 20. Featured artists include Alexi Rutsch Brock, Connecticut; Joseph Cohen, Texas; Xiuwen Cui, Bejing, China; Sandra Fernandez, New Jersey; Holland Houdek and Stefan Zoller, New York; Jeff Lichtman, Joshua Sanes and Jean Livet, Massachusetts; Curtis Salonick, Wilkes-Barre; Marta Sanchez, Philadelphia; Fan Shen, Shanghai, China; Jinsong Shi and Dali Shang, Bejing, China, and Melanie Yazzie, Colorado.

The exhibit is being offered in conjunction with Misericordia University’s 10th annual Health Care Symposium, “The Patient-Centered Model: Health and Wellness Achieved,” on Oct. 18 with keynote speaker Paul Grundy, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.O.E.M., F.A.C.P.M., who is considered the “godfather” of the patient-centered medical home movement. The symposium is all-day event.

Cohen will be among the symposium’s presenters. The Houston-based artist incorporates carbon nanotubes into his work to achieve colors beyond the visible spectrum. He has worked with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Weisman NanoEngineering Laboratory at Rice University in Houston to create paint at the molecular level. This collaboration of arts and medical technologies has applications in detecting cancer. In his address, Cohen will talk about his artistic process and about art consulting for the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Cohen’s presentation will offer practical guidance and demonstrate one possible model for health care administrators on creating an arts-enriched healing environment.

Susan Sordoni, M.D., will be the honored guest at a free public reception for the art exhibition on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the gallery. Dr. Sordoni will receive the second annual Misericordia University Excellence in Health Care Award, which recognizes a Misericordia alumnus who has made significant and exemplary contributions to health care. It is awarded to caregivers and those who have advanced the field through medical research, executive leadership, the healing arts or scientific discovery. A 1968 graduate of Misericordia University, Dr. Sordoni is recognized for being the founder and volunteer at the Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) clinic in Wilkes-Barre. VIM is a full-service clinic that provides free medical, dental and behavioral health care to low-income patients in Luzerne County who have no access to public or private health insurance.

A number of the artists will attend the reception and talk about their work. Light refreshments will be available.

“‘Arts in Healthcare’ is a group exhibition curated by the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery to advocate for including the arts in the health care environment,” said Lalaine Little, M.A., M.A.T., Ph.D., gallery director. “According to the National Organization for Arts in Health, an arts-enriched environment encourages relaxation, meditation and inspiration – all beneficial activities for patients, staff and visitors in health care settings. Providers and patients also benefit from increased empathy, especially when communication is difficult between providers and patients of different cultural backgrounds.

“We hope by showing a diversity of artists and styles, this exhibition will stimulate conversations about how healthcare workers can overcome differences in cultural attitudes toward illness and healing,” she added.

Pauly Friedman Art Gallery fall hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 12-7 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m., or by appointment. The gallery is closed on Mondays and for all university holidays. For additional information, please go to or call the gallery at 570-674-6250.

Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 56 academic programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges. The Princeton Review recognizes MU as a 2019 Best Northeastern College and MONEY Magazine includes Misericordia in its 2018-19 “Best Colleges” list.