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Healing Hands

Healing Hands:

Pediatric GI Patients Explore Their Experience


Pediatric gastroenterology patients often spend a significant amount of time at the hospital, receiving vital clinical care including infusion treatments and other procedures. During their stay in the hospital, these patients visit become brighter through the opportunity to create art with Jackie Tassiello, a licensed and board-certified art therapist at New York Presbyterian. Under the supervision of Jackie, Alexandra Xifaras (Pratt University) and Sarah Fine (School of Visual Arts), interned with the pediatric gastroenterology division and helped make this special project a reality as part of their Masters in Art Therapy on-site clinical internship training. Alexandra and Sarah both provided an invaluable resource for pediatric patients to express their emotions and experiences in treatment through the intrinsically healing act of making art. This calendar highlights the art that our pediatric gastroenterology patients created as part of the Healing Hands project.

A joint partnership between Weill Cornell Medicine Jill Roberts Institute for Research in IBD and Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, along with Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition and NYP’s Child Life/Creative Arts Department, the Healing Hands: Pediatric GI Patients Explore Their Experience project was envisioned as a platform for these young voices to be heard through the visual language of art. The culmination of this project is an art exhibition and print versions of the artwork created by patients in order to raise awareness about pediatric gastroenterology-related illness and advocate for the cause of pediatric gastroenterology research.

The Healing Hands project was made possible by the generous support of Weill Cornell Medicine Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Weill Cornell Medicine Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and New York-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children's Hospital at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

intern sarah fine with patient

Art therapy intern Sarah Fine with a pediatric GI patient as part of her work with the Healing Hands project

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Healing Hands project would not have been possible without the pediatric gastroenterology patients who shared part of themselves with the trust and support of an art therapist-in-training. Behind each patient are the unsung heroes, the patients’ parents and caretakers, who accompany their children to the hospital for treatments and nurture their children living with a chronic illness. Through awareness and continued medical research, the future will be painted in bold and colorful strokes mirroring what these remarkable patients have created to share.

The Healing Hands team that executed the project goals and guidelines includes the following individuals:

Dr. David Artis, Professor of Immunology, Department of Medicine, Director of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in IBD and Director of the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Robbyn Sockolow, Vice Chair for Ambulatory Care Services, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and Attending Pediatrician at New York-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children's Hospital at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Jacqueline Tassiello, licensed and board-certified art therapist at New York-Presbyterian.

Alexandra (Ally) Xifaras, Student Intern and graduate of the Masters in Art Therapy program at Pratt University, New York.

Sarah Fine, Student Intern and graduate of the Masters in Art Therapy program at the School of Visual Arts, New York.

Sharon Granville, (former) Director of Child Life at New York-Presbyterian.

Jennifer Conrad, Administrative Assistant, the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in IBD, Department of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Weill Cornell Medicine.

The Healing Hands project was made possible by the generous support of:

Weill Cornell Medicine Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Weill Cornell Medicine Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation
Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
New York-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children's Hospital at Weill Cornell Medical Center

For further information, please contact:

Dr. David Artis, Professor of Immunology, Department of Medicine, Director of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in IBD and Director of the Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, Weill Cornell Medicine at artisadmin@med.cornell.edu

Dr. Amy Tsou and Connie Zhong

Lab technician, Connie Zhong (left), and Dr. Amy Tsou (right) in the laboratory following an experimental protocol to process samples. Dr. Tsou is a pediatrician in the Weill Cornell Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology as well as a research scientist at the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in IBD.

Weill Cornell Medicine The Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease 413 E 69th Street, 7th Floor New York, NY 10021 Phone: (646) 962-6312