Ep. 136: Expanding awareness and advancing acceptance of the arts as a vital component for healing; with Ferol Carytsas

How can the arts be used in healing?

Photo by W W via Pexels

Implementing the arts in healthcare allows patients to heal holistically: body, mind, and soul. Healthcare institutions are increasingly embracing design, visual arts, and performing arts strategies to improve the patient experience, mitigate staff burnout, and increase financial efficiencies. We discuss the state of the field of arts in health, and recent efforts to equip and professionalize the field.


We’re talking today about an organization that exists to advance the arts as a vital component for healing, public health, and wellbeing. This organization is known by the acronym NOAH, the National Organization for Arts in Health. With me today is Ferol Carytsas, who was a founding board member of NOAH, and is now the Assistant Director and Lecturer with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine.


We discuss:

  • What NOAH (National Organization for Arts and Health) is and how/why it started.
  • Members include artists, creative and expressive arts therapists, architects and designers, representatives of creative and cultural agencies, educators, administrators, doctors, nurses, and others working in medical care, medical education, and public health.
  • NOAH aims to shape a reality where the arts are accepted and fully incorporated into medical treatment, medical education, prevention, and public health and wellbeing.
  • The benefits of implementing arts in the healing process (including quantifiable benefits such as financial efficiencies, lower use of patient medication, duration of hospital stays, etc.).
  • In advancement of its goals, NOAH recently published the Core Curriculum for Arts in Health Professionals. Ferol was an editor and contributing author to this Curriculum. What was the impetus for creating this curriculum? Why was it needed and what does it do?
  • What is the current climate and receptiveness to integrating arts in health (by all stakeholders, incl. medical professionals, patients, caregivers, insurance providers, artists)?
  • What kind of collaboration and partnerships are happening in the field?

Connect/Other Resources

In-Episode Promo

Arts for the Health of It podcast

The Business Side of Music podcast


Ferol shares a recording of her performance of Ashokan Farewell on the viola.  The larger CD is a collection of some of the most requested songs through the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program.

Closing Words

Thank you so much to Ferol for sharing that song and for all she does to enhance the healing process for others through music and the arts! As always, there are lots of links in the show notes for all the resources we discussed in this conversation – and more! If you have a special interest in music’s application in healthcare settings, there are links in today’s show notes to other episodes related to this topic. For even more episodes on music’s effect on health and wellness, you can go to the Archives page of my website, where you’ll see all episodes grouped by category. There are four categories:

  1. Science & Health
  2. Sports & Entertainment
  3. Education & Community
  4. Business

Just click on the that first category of Science & Health to find all episodes we’ve done on this podcast on this topic.

All links from today’s episode – including a transcript of this episode – can be found in the show notes. A link to the page is also in the episode details right in your podcast app. If you have a story of music enhancing your healing experience, I would love to hear about it! You can reach me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next time, may your life be enhanced with music.

Note: We occasionally use affiliate links for products and services we whole-heartedly believe in. We may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, for purchases made through these links. This helps support the free content we provide.