Emerge Gallery & Art Center offers a holistic approach to cancer patients | East Carolina

Emerge Gallery & Art Center visual artists work with cancer patients and survivors from Emerge, ECU Health Medical Center and McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge through their Art is Good Medicine program to provide a holistic approach to healing and general well-being.

Paula Rountree, director of programs for Emerge, said artists visit ECU Health Medical Center and McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge once a week to provide free art activities for patients. She said activities include painting, drawing, mixed media, textiles and other wearable activities.

Rountree said the people at Emerge were just going door to door at the health center and Hope Pavilion and asking patients if they wanted to participate. She said Emerge holds free workshops once a month and Emerge is open to anyone affected by cancer, including caregivers, current patients, survivors and family members.

“We (Emerge) are always looking to help meet a need in the community and one of those needs is to provide holistic care for those who are going through a difficult time,” Rountree said.

Heather Mae Suter, education coordinator for Emerge, said Create, Heal, Grow is part of their Art is Good Medicine program, which has been in place since 2007. She said professional visual artists work with adult patients and pediatric cancer patients and survivors. She said Emerge also has a group of volunteers to contact for certain events.

Suter said the program is an arts in healthcare program in partnership with local healthcare providers. She said the program is important because it takes patients away from their personal issues and gives them something fun and simple to occupy their minds for a while.

“This program is so important because these patients need a mental break from their daily stressors. Whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional break, we give them the opportunity to think about something else for a while and spend time with a friendly art instructor who makes art at home. hand,” Suter said.

By introducing artistic aspects into the lives of these people, this program helps provide a holistic approach to coping by engaging their mind, body and health for overall well-being, Suter said. Emerge, home of the Pitt County Arts Council, offers free adult workshops for anyone looking for a place to create, heal and grow through artistic expression, she said.

Senior film major Andy Michael said he lost his aunt to cancer in 2010. He wasn’t living in Greenville at the time, he said, and he wants an organization in his hometown has a program to help patients and family members of patients to participate in activities. promote a positive attitude in frightening situations.

“I’m really a firm believer in things like. Sure, medical procedures and doctors and nurses are definitely the first way, but why not try something to improve your mind too? I think your mind and your state of mind also have a big effect on your health, especially when health-wise things look scary,” Michael said.