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Healing Through the Arts

Established by Summer’s Way Foundation in 2022 at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children,  this innovative program led by a Registered Art Therapist, is designed to provide pediatric cancer patients with individualized art therapy. Patients work one-on-one with the therapist to build emotional and mental resilience through clinically proven art projects. In its inaugural year, Healing through the Arts has shown encouraging results in alleviating pain, anxiety, and depression while promoting socialization and self-expression. This unique program is funded solely by Summer’s Way Foundation.

Testimonials

"Jennifer’s work with our patients (and families) is incredible and we are so thankful to have her as a resource for them. From what I have witnessed, Jennifer and the Healing through the Arts program have a unique ability to facilitate conversation and promote comfortability. The hospital environment can be intimating and unfamiliar for children; paring that with having to navigate illness / diagnosis, there is very little in which children have the control. Implementing the Healing through the Arts program and having Jennifer, a calming presence, allows children to process organically through art and normalization. Jennifer has had such amazing moments where children feel empowered to share what they are going through and the feelings that surround that where they, otherwise, may not have. Similarly, art serves as a powerful tool to provide distraction from the pain and anxiety children often feel as they are undergoing treatment."

- Hannah Mudge, Oncology Child Life Specialist

“The Healing Art Program, and Jennifer has been such a wonderful addition to our supportive offerings inpatient and outpatient. When I make a visit to a patient and they are meeting with Jennifer I have been able to feel the lightness in the room, as for the moment they have a place to put down the weight of their world. I have received feedback from parents and patients who have expressed appreciation for the additional support, creative outlet, and distraction from the medical world around them. I am so grateful for Jennifer and her thoughtful work as well as Summer’s Way ability to allow this program to service our patients.”

-Erica Berge, Oncology Social Worker

(Jennifer) “ is wonderful - very calming and encouraging. I’ve seen her work be effective with kids stuck in the hospital for a long time and also with kids nervous before a procedure. She goes anywhere - floor, infusion, pre op, picu. It’s been a great addition.”

- Jennifer Clark, Pediatric Oncologist

Parent & Patient Testimonials

“My child received her first chemo treatment today. The family was present and all of us were extremely anxious. As soon as the Art Therapist arrived, there was a sudden relaxation. The art project brought back familiar portions of our life before cancer”

“My little boy was crying and scared in the pre-op area before having surgery

The art therapist came in and mentioned paint, at which point his eyes lit up. He enjoyed mixing paints and playing with colors, and hand prints. His demeanor completely shifted and he left for surgery with a smile”

“L enjoyed his time with Jennifer and I think it was a relaxing/comforting experience because it probably reminded him of doing art at home and at school; and it was a good mental escape from sitting around his hospital room!”

“We think Jennifer helped C focus in art and helped her get distracted from being nauseous, made her feel calm and relax. Also, she always listened to C’s ideas while giving her new ideas as well and always brought all the material needed to finish the project. We believe this program helps kids heal their mind while they heal their body and we hope Jennifer can continue helping kids with her calmness and creativity.”

“Mom reported to me that the support from Jennifer and the program was wonderful and they looked forward to being her, both inpatient and outpatient, on Thursdays because they knew she would be visiting. She stated it was such a great creative outlet for her son (4yo) and she appreciated seeing him communicate through his art. By observing the process she was able to tell how he was feeling and that helped her support him as a parent as well.”

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Featured Image for Summer’s Way Golden Gala: Illuminate a Path to a Cancer-Free Tomorrow

Summer’s Way Golden Gala: Illuminate a Path to a Cancer-Free Tomorrow

Please join the Summer's Way Foundation for their annual fundraising event. All funds raised from and during the event will go directly towards supporting our efforts to end childhood cancer […]

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Get in touch with Summer's Way Foundation to discover more about our work and how to donate. We thank you for your support.

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