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New Patient Tower Features Variety of Locally-Made Artwork

Dayton, Ohio (January 31, 2011)  – Miami Valley Hospital’s new addition houses not only the new Heart and Vascular Center and Orthopedic Joint and Spine Center but also a variety of locally-made artwork.

“Miami Valley Hospital is committed to serving Dayton and the surrounding areas, and that commitment includes providing opportunities to the people who live and work in the area,” Tower Project Director Nikki Burns said. “Dayton has a rich cultural base with many very talented artists living in the city and surrounding communities. We wanted to showcase their work in our new building.”

More than 40 original works of art are on display throughout the new building, 35 percent of which were produced by artists in the Dayton region. MVH partnered with the Dayton Visual Arts Center to identify local artists to be featured in the building.

A small but significant body of research has shown that art can have positive clinical and behavioral outcomes on patients in hospital settings.

“Viewing artwork with appropriate content has been shown to reduce stress and pain perception, as measured by physiological outcomes, such as blood pressure and heart rate,” Burns said. “It additionally reduces self-reported measures, such as pain-rating scales and surveys.”

Recently, there has been a growing movement away from cold, white, sterile-feeling hospital environments and a shift to warmer, more comforting environments that are less frightening and stressful for patients and their families, as well as hospital staff.

“In a hospital, good physicians and nurses, good medication and a clean, safe environment are critical to helping patients feel better,” Burns said. “Oftentimes, however, a key to healing can also be in perceptions – the human mind and body are so intrinsically linked that just feeling better is a huge step toward actually being better. This is where the art – which builds a warm, homey environment – plays such an important role at MVH.”

Friends of the hospital sponsored the works of art through generous contributions to the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation.

Local artists whose work is displayed within the building include

  • Tom Chapman – a glass blower who works at his home studio in Dayton.
  • Willis “Bing” Davis – an artist internationally renowned for his ceramics, paintings, drawings in pastel on paper and large-scale public artworks. Davis is from Dayton.
  • Deborah Emerick – an artist who creates thread paintings using an embroidery technique that relies on long, smooth stitches and intricate shading. Emerick is from Centerville.
  • Katherine Kadish – a painter who works in oil on canvas from her studio in an old schoolhouse in Clifton. Kadish, of Yellow Springs, also produces wax monotypes on silk during extended stays in New York City.
  • Tom Keen – a wood turner who uses mostly green wood collected from his farm in South Charleston.
  • Terry Welker – an architect from Kettering who creates intricate mobiles and stabiles of anodized aluminum.