Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Florida Hospital Form Partnership

It’s incredibly enriching to a community when leaders and industries can come together to create something special, each bringing their skills and expertise to the table. In Orlando, a collaboration is taking place that will change the way many see the impact of both medicine and the arts.

Florida Hospital is one of the country’s largest not-for-profit health care providers with 22 campuses serving communities throughout Florida. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is Orlando’s newest world-class arts and culture community, sprawling 330,000 square feet right in the heart of the city. In February, the Dr. Phillips Center and Florida Hospital announced a partnership to create an arts and wellness educational facility and program. The Dr. Phillips Center School of Arts will now be the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness, and the vision of the partnership is to create a nationally leading center of excellence for performing arts and wellness education for the mind, body and imagination.


Creating Access, Building Community

The combination of arts and health make up a diverse, multidisciplinary field that transforms health and wellness by connecting people with the arts throughout key moments and milestones in their lives. The Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness will integrate literary, visual, dance/movement, music, and performing arts at the school itself as well as into a variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

“Our ability to collaborate with organizations and members of the community depends on the strength of our partnerships,” said Kathy Ramsberger, CEO and president of the Dr. Phillips Center. “Together, Dr. Phillips Center and Florida Hospital will create access to and incorporation of the arts across educational, social and institutional settings.”

Brian Paradis, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Florida Hospital, commented, “We are always looking for opportunities to enrich our communities by bringing healthcare outside the hospital’s walls. We also look for innovative ways to care for our patients and communities. This groundbreaking partnership will allow us to explore, integrate and foster the ability of expressive performing arts to further health, well-being and quality of care for individuals, families and caregivers.”


A New Paradigm

Part of Florida Hospital’s services and treatments includes music therapy. Through it, they have discovered numerous connections between music and healing, such as how calming melodies can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and heart rates. Some studies suggest art therapy can also improve depression and fatigue in cancer patients, and painting has been known to help those suffering from dementia.

“With this partnership, we can build on what we already know and apply this expertise to the performing arts. It is our hope that the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness will become a world-class model for applying arts to the healing process,” said Paradis.

The school will also allow researchers, clinicians and others to learn how the arts can be used to improve physical, mental and emotional health. “We hope the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of Arts & Wellness will become a research hub, and attract researchers and educators from around the globe as they can see how arts and health care can be applied together,” commented Paradis.

As part of the partnership, an Arts and Wellness Advisory Council comprised of five national and community leaders will be formed. Members include Ramsberger; a Florida Hospital representative; Margery Pabst-Steinmetz, a healthcare clinical specialist with arts and wellness expertise appointed by Florida Hospital; and a nationally recognized arts educator, administrator or philanthropist selected by Florida Hospital and the Dr. Phillips Center. In the first year, the Council will develop a Strategic Plan that defines the programming for the arts center’s educational arts and wellness initiatives.

For more information visit drphillipscenter.org/arts-education or call (407) 455-5551

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of i4 Business.
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i4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders who are shaping our region.

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