Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Humanities & Health

Jefferson Humanities & Health supports student engagement in the arts and humanities to promote essential skills related to healthcare including close observation, critical thinking, communication and empathy.

Throughout the year, our programs highlight the social contexts of health and wellness, lived experiences of diverse individuals and communities, and self-care for health professionals.

Each academic year, Jefferson Humanities & Health explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives. During 2021-2022, the Jefferson Humanities Forum speaker series will bring a handful of multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme Origins.

Throughout the year, forum events will explore aspects of Origins as it relates to: personal origins and family history; origin of the humans species, behavior, and society; national and constitutional origins; and origins and the universe. Learn more about the Jefferson Humanities Forum here.

Announcements

You can now register for, and starting attending events to complete, the 2021-2022 Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Register here! And visit jefferson.edu/asano to learn more. 

Some quick FAQs, asked and answered:

Q: What is this and why should I do this?

A: The Asano Humanities & Health Certificate is a co-curricular program that rewards your engagement in the arts and humanities and complements your formal course of study. Completion of the program signifies your effort toward becoming a healthcare professional who considers how the arts and humanities can cultivate close observation, communication, empathy, and reflection on the social contexts of wellbeing. 

Participating in the Asano certificate program is a great way to motivate yourself to attend some incredible programs on campus, connect with a community of students similarly committed to the humanities, find personal enrichment, and expose yourself to content that you might not find elsewhere at Jefferson.  

SKMC students: You also might want to do Asano because it can count as one of your two Humanities Selective Credits (JMD 152/252). Reach out SKMC Humanities Thread Education Coordinator, David.Meinhart@jefferson.edu, with any questions.

Q: Does it matter what college I am in?

A: NO! The Asano Humanities & Health Certificate is open to all students in all colleges and programs, on all Jefferson campuses.

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: You have the entire academic year (until the end of March) to attend eight programs and complete your reflections. Programs and events are usually one or two hours long, so you’re looking at 12-ish hours of programming plus the amount of time it will take you to thoughtfully respond to the reflection prompts (all of which can be spread out over the academic year).

Second-year SKMC students seeking credit have an earlier submission deadline.

Questions? Reach out to Matilda Ostow, Humanities Program Coordinator, at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu.

Have you recently written a poem or story and are thinking about submitting it - send it to the Sharing Our Stories (SOS) section of the Families, Systems and Health Journal. The SOS section publishes poetry, narrative, 55-word stories and Haiku.

They are looking for writing that relates to how individuals or systems, families or communities deal with health issues, crises, and hardships in the form of story or poetry. We welcome covid related pieces or non-covid pieces.

Submit your work here.

More here about the journal: Families, Systems, & Health® is a peer-reviewed, inter-disciplinary journal publishing original research, review and conceptual papers, book and media reviews, and humanities contributions in the areas of health, systems, and families science, with a particular focus on integrated care.

Families, Systems, & Health seeks to develop the knowledge base of a systemic approach to healthcare that integrates mind and body; individual and family; and communities, clinicians, and health systems while considering cost-effectiveness and distributive justice.

Questions? Reach out to SOS co-editor Dr. Hugh Silk at hugh.silk@umassmemorial.org.

Through Thomas Jefferson University’s membership with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Jefferson faculty and students are able to view the current exhibitions for free! We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity and explore the incredible works on display right now.

Email info@pafa.org to receive a link to register for free tickets for you and up to 7 other Jefferson students and colleagues (due to gallery capacity restrictions groups visiting together should be eight or fewer people). Please be prepared to show your valid Jefferson ID when you arrive. 

See what’s on display, and the gallery hours (open Thurs-Sun), here. Questions? Email Matilda Ostow, Humanities Program Coordinator, at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu.


June

The Human Side of Healthcare with Dr. Don Friedman

Session 4: Perfectionism, Shame, and the Inner Critic

Tuesday, June 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m
., Online via Zoom (registration link in Canvas, instructions to access below)

In patient care, it is so easy to focus on the breadth of medical knowledge and the technology available today that we can easily ignore the human side of what we do as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals when we interact with our patients. To examine this aspect of clinical care, these sessions will explore the humanity behind the practice of medicine from the patient perspective and from the healthcare professional perspective as well. The five sessions will focus on either different aspects of patient and practitioner interactions or the concept of self-care as a practice that can sustain us in our work and help find meaning in what we do.

There is no required reading and no commitment to all 5 sessions, but hopefully everyone interested will attend as many sessions as possible to gain a general perspective on this topic. Each hour-long session will involve a 20-minute presentation followed by 40 minutes of discussion and questions. References for further exploration will be offered. Open to medical and nursing students and students in other allied health departments at Thomas Jefferson University.

Session Overview

  • Tuesday, June 22  – Perfectionism, Shame, and the Inner Critic

    How do these factors, so rampant in healthcare, block us from our authentic selves, healthy achievement, and sustained growth? What are some antidotes to their negative effects?
  • Tuesday, June 29 – Medicine as Soul Work

    How can medicine be soulful? How can what we do as healthcare professionals help us find meaning in our lives?

To access the session registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas and visit the Event Links module, or email Matilda Ostow at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu.

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Schwartz Center Rounds: Providing Compassionate Care in Difficult Patient Encounters

Wednesday, June 23, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (register in Canvas, see instructions below)

Challenging patient encounters are unavoidable, and it is our calling as providers in a medical setting to nurture our relationships with our patients so that both parties are able to minimize frustration, engage in a patient-centered approach, and ultimately engage in successful therapeutic interventions. Join us for this Schwartz Center Rounds as our panelist share stories related to dealing with difficult encounters.

Schwartz Center Rounds are humanism in medicine events developed by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center to support and advance compassion in healthcare. They are named after Ken Schwartz who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers, that “the smallest acts of kindness” made “the unbearable bearable.” These Schwartz Rounds create a forum and level playing field where providers from diverse disciplines discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. In our institution they are held monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon, formerly in a large conference room but now in a virtual format.

Presented by the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; Co-facilitators: Lisa Capparella, MSS, LCSW, OSW-C and Kathleen Mechler, MD.

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Schwartz Rounds page in the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Thomas Eakins and the World's Fairs

Thursday, June 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Zoom (access the registration link in Canvas, instructions below)


Free and open to Jefferson students 

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents:

Thomas Eakins’ two medical masterpieces, The Gross Clinic and The Agnew Clinic were both displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. This three-part lecture series with Dr. Paul Sivitiz examines Eakins’ use of a long-standing genre which he “modernized” (and the reason why The Gross Clinic was so off-putting to viewers at the 1876 World’s Fair). We will also explore if Eakins’ participation (essentially virtual, of course) in the Chicago World’s Fair contributed to the racial inequality promoted by the fair’s organizers.

Week 3: Eakins and the World’s Fairs (Thursday, June 24)

World’s Fairs in America during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries could best be described as “edutainment.” Fair organizers overtly promoted racial inequality, and the Eakins Clinic paintings helped undergird this strategy.

To access the event registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas and visit the Event Links module, or email Matilda Ostow at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu. Registering for one of the sessions registers you for all three.

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas.  Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

The Human Side of Healthcare with Dr. Don Friedman

Session 5: Medicine as Soul Work

Tuesday, June 29, 5:30-6:30 p.m
., Online via Zoom (registration link in Canvas, instructions to access below)

In patient care, it is so easy to focus on the breadth of medical knowledge and the technology available today that we can easily ignore the human side of what we do as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals when we interact with our patients. To examine this aspect of clinical care, these sessions will explore the humanity behind the practice of medicine from the patient perspective and from the healthcare professional perspective as well. The five sessions will focus on either different aspects of patient and practitioner interactions or the concept of self-care as a practice that can sustain us in our work and help find meaning in what we do.

There is no required reading and no commitment to all 5 sessions, but hopefully everyone interested will attend as many sessions as possible to gain a general perspective on this topic. Each hour-long session will involve a 20-minute presentation followed by 40 minutes of discussion and questions. References for further exploration will be offered. Open to medical and nursing students and students in other allied health departments at Thomas Jefferson University.

Session Overview

  • Tuesday, June 29 – Medicine as Soul Work

    How can medicine be soulful? How can what we do as healthcare professionals help us find meaning in our lives?

To access the session registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas and visit the Event Links module, or email Matilda Ostow at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu.

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register, here.

July

Schwartz Center Rounds: Switching Roles During a Pandemic

Wednesday, July 28, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (register in Canvas, see instructions below)

The pandemic has brought about numerous changes for all staff.  Join us for this Schwartz Center Rounds as our panelists discuss how their roles has changed over the last year and how they’ve navigated these changes amidst a pandemic.

Schwartz Center Rounds are humanism in medicine events developed by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center to support and advance compassion in healthcare. They are named after Ken Schwartz who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers, that “the smallest acts of kindness” made “the unbearable bearable.” These Schwartz Rounds create a forum and level playing field where providers from diverse disciplines discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. In our institution they are held monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon, formerly in a large conference room but now in a virtual format.

Presented by the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; Co-facilitators: Lisa Capparella, MSS, LCSW, OSW-C and Kathleen Mechler, MD.

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Schwartz Rounds page in the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.


*Events marked with an asterisk can be counted toward the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate for Jefferson students. Learn more and register here.

Please note: Events are added to the calendar as they are confirmed. Please check regularly for additional events. 

Review the list of past events ...


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