{ COMMUNITY }

Unique “Arts in Medicine” Program

Photo Opportunity

Picture Me Happy and health care go
hand-in-hand

By Jill Marr
content

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t be more evident than when the Picture Me Happy team arrives at Rady Children’s Hospital. The non-profit organization offers a unique “Arts in Medicine” program to the chronically and seriously ill children. The philosophy behind the program is that being immersed in the creative process provides a necessary diversion from illness. And creativity and art enhances the healing environment and treatment experience for the children. The volunteers offer a lot of ideas and opportunities that help the children stimulate their own creativity, encouraging them to become the designers and creators of their own photo magazine and so much more.

The results are undeniable. Recently, the Picture Me Happy folks were asked to visit an 8-year-old boy who had not been willing to come out of his room for any playroom time or activities. They introduced the child to one of their instamatic cameras and offered some inspiring ideas for taking photos. It wasn’t long before he commandeered a wheelchair and was snapping photos throughout the hallways. The boy then made his way to the playroom with his camera and began picking colored papers, shiny stickers and magic markers in order to create his very own photo magazine. He was participating—and he was out of his room for the first time in nearly three months. This is the magic that happens when creativity enters the healing environment.

Children can capture the moment with a little help from Picture me Happy. These child-life services are desperately needed at Rady Children’s Hospital. Events take place at the holidays and other peak times of the year but Picture Me Happy is there
year-round for the children. Volunteers and funding are needed so that more sessions can be offered and the program can expand to other parts of the hospital. Picture Me Happy distracts children from illness, filling them with hope and inspiration that is invaluable. For more on Picture Me Happy, 323.854.4910, picturemehappy.org Ρ