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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals and The Jameel Arts & Health Lab Collaborate on Largest Ever Evaluation of the Impact of Murals in Hospitals

The international research team includes the Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals

May 07, 2024

Harlem Hospital, Artwork by Angel Garcia. Courtesy of the Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is participating in a first-of-its-kind global evaluation of the impact of murals in hospitals, being led by the Jameel Arts & Health Lab (JAHL) and NYU Steinhardt in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

In the first study of its kind, HoME seeks to advance understanding of the impact that murals in hospitals and other clinical settings can have on people who view these large visual artworks including patients, staff, and visitors. The project will involve a mixed-methods study at sites in Slovenia, Nigeria, the UK and US, assessing possible correlations between viewing murals and workplace belonging, perceived quality of care, and wellbeing.

The HoME research team, overseen by NYU Steinhardt Associate Professor and JAHL Co-Director, Dr. Nisha Sajnani, and co-led with JAHL Research & Evaluation Associate, Marcel Foster, MPH. The team consists of members from the Jameel Arts & Health Lab, the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida, Harvard University, a research team from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, The Art of Healing, Norwich University of the Arts, Hospital Rooms, the Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals, the University Children’s Hospital in Ljubljana, and the Nordic Art Initiative.

“We are interested in the question of what a hospital can look like. What role do artists have in re-imagining spaces of care? We hope that HoME inspires momentum and investment in transforming healthcare environments into true spaces of healing across different cultural contexts.” – Nisha Sajnani, PhD, Co-Director, Jameel Arts & Health Lab.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to broaden our understanding of the impact large scale murals have on public health. We are hopeful HoME will set a precedent for future studies to reinforce the essential role community murals have in healthcare frameworks.” – Larissa Trinder, Assistant Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine.

In the coming months, HoME will lay the groundwork for future research, inspiring momentum and investment in transforming healthcare environments into true spaces of healing.

NYC Health + Hospitals has the largest public art collection in the city. Its collection of more than 7,000 artworks includes historic murals commissioned through the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, paintings, mosaics, photographs, sculptures, installation art, and murals by both emerging and established professional artists. The collection includes works by some of America’s leading artists, such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Helen Frankenthaler, Mary Frank, Betty Blayton, Candida Alvarez, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and Keith Haring. More than an art collection, these works create a healing environment, activate spaces, engage staff, promote visual acuity, and expand access to the arts for 43,000 employees and more than 1.2 million patients who receive care at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities.

In recent years, NYC Health + Hospitals’ Community Mural Project has selected artists to create 37 murals across the health system in collaboration with hospital staff and the community. The first few years of the project were recently featured in a new book, Healing Walls: New York City Health + Hospitals Community Mural Project 2019-2021.



About NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine Department
The Arts in Medicine department at NYC Health + Hospitals seeks to foster the emotional well-being and promote healing and wellness for all patients and their families, employees, and the greater community by utilizing the arts, including literary, visual, and performing arts throughout the health care system. In addition to managing the system’s significant visual arts collection, the Arts in Medicine department encourages evidenced based practices and provides technical assistance to all of the system’s health care facilities and clinics. This is accomplished by combining artistic innovation and education into a comprehensive health care continuum that supports the healing benefits of the arts. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/artsinmedicine/.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Jameel Arts & Health Lab
The Jameel Arts & Health Lab was launched in January this year following the signing of agreements between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Steinhardt School at New York University (NYU), Community Jameel, and CULTURUNNERS. Focused on overlooked and underserved communities, the lab coordinates and amplifies scientific research into the effectiveness of the arts in improving health and well-being to drive policy implementation across 193 UN Member States. Jameelartshealthlab.org