Arts-in-Medicine at UNM


The University of New Mexico Arts-in-Medicine Program (AIM), based at the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH), holds the following as its mission:

To enhance the healing process by facilitating creative encounters in local, regional, and international medical environments and communities while educating health care professionals and others on the integral role the arts play in wellness and health restoration.

Arts-in-Medicine has five branches or arms that provide different services and have different functions. These five branches are:

1. Clinical Services: Creative encounters for patients and families, as well as staff and providers at The University of New Mexico Hospitals
2. Education: Courses for main campus, north campus, and community groups; transdisciplinary, study abroad course in South Africa; certification program in progress
3. Research: Various projects to evaluate the program as a whole as well as specific interventions for specific populations
4. Community Outreach: Local and regional projects to promote and develop arts and healthcare programs in other facilities and organizations
5. International Collaboration: Work with various international organizations and universities to promote and develop arts and healthcare programs in other countries; several projects currently underway in South Africa


One-on-one with patients, their families, and medical professionals

  • To encourage participants to stop, examine, and transform the quality of their lives;
  • To provide opportunities to express painful and/or suppressed feelings;
  • To co-create new perspectives on and increased meaning in life;
  • To facilitate positive experiences and heightened self-esteem;
  • To stimulate spiritual expression and;
  • To relieve pain, discomfort, anxiety, restlessness, respiratory difficulties, insomnia, isolation, depression, withdrawal, loss of speech, grief, and anticipatory grief.
For the community-at-large
  • To build collegial and supportive relationships among faculty, staff and students at UNMH and the greater UNM community;
  • To recognize and celebrate the cultural diversity of local and regional communities;
  • To provide opportunities for collaboration between community members and the academy;
  • To provide new and meaningful opportunities for artists to contribute to society;
  • To expand awareness and stimulate dialog regarding the nature of health and wellness, health care, and death and dying;
  • To contribute to UNM's role as an international leader and innovator in medical education;
  • To build partnerships with international health care professionals and communities.



This program is funded by University of New Mexico Hospitals; the Cancer Research and Treatment Center; New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts; the McCune Charitable Foundation; Johnson & Johnson/Society for the Arts in Healthcare Partnership to promote Arts in Healing; the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation; Edison International; the University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts; and the Partnership for Arts in Medicine.


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This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs,
and the National Endowment for the Arts.

All Content and Images Copyright ©2005 The University of New Mexico Arts-In-Medicine Program. All Rights Reserved.