Atlantic Health System and Montclair State University form partnership to promote arts in healthcare, education

SUMMIT – Atlantic Health System and Montclair State University have announced a partnership to promote healing arts in health care and education through research.

Through the robust services of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey and the academic capabilities of Montclair State University, the partnership will offer opportunities to research and develop the ways that arts and health complement each other.

Atlantic Health System is comprised of Morristown, Overlook and Newton medical centers and Goryeb Children’s Hospital. Montclair State University’s College of the Arts is a state-designated “Center of Excellence in the Arts,” and is home to the George Segal Gallery and the Creative Research Center.

William Neigher, vice president of System Development, and chief strategy officer for Atlantic Health System, noted that there are many opportunities for arts to play an important role in healing, both in and out of hospital settings.

“A healing culture is essential for us to achieve our mission,” Neigher said. “People come to us in some of the most difficult moments of their life. We can make connections with them through arts and music not only to aid them in those moments, but to help them live healthier throughout their lives.”

“The partnership between Atlantic Health System and Montclair State University has the very rich potential to illuminate new pathways to well-being,” said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “The goal of that partnership is quite simply to become a leader in arts and health care and help future leaders to advance in both of these fields.”

Through the partnership, health care and academic professionals will collaborate to examine the ways art can contribute to medicine and vice versa – for instance, the way art therapy can be used to help patients being treated for Alzheimer’s disease, or the way sports medicine might assist dancers and performers.

The partnership will also enhance academic programs and provide a new outlet to bring together students studying health care or art to explore both subjects. This includes:
• Professional development through internships and externships to provide a forum for training, research, performance and exhibitions
• Medical humanities education to further observational skills and embrace humanistic medicine