Houston Methodist Hospital recently received a BCA10 Award from the The Business Committee for the Arts for its enduring commitment to providing an artistic respite for patients and employees.
As part of the Americans for the Arts organization, BCA recognizes 10 organizations annually for “exceptional involvement with the arts that enriches the workplace, education and the community.” For two decades, Houston Methodist has gone above and beyond to offer specialized health care to artists and to bring live music, creative writing, photography classes and more to patients and employees through the Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) under the helm of director J. Todd Frazier.
Twenty years ago, CPAM founder Richard Stasney, M.D., started the organization with the goal of providing quality health care to artists. Today, the program has grown to also integrate art—music, photography, writing and music therapy—into the very fabric of the hospital’s operations.
“CPAM is truly a differentiator for Houston Methodist for how we lead medicine,” said Carole Hackett, senior vice president of human resources at Houston Methodist. “The largest impact it has is how it enriches and elevates our culture—it helps us to create an exceptional environment of healing through the use of visual and performance art, our research and our therapy.”
On any given day you can walk into the Crain Garden at Houston Methodist and hear beautiful live music from pianists, jazz bands, flutists and more.
“Imagine walking into a hospital and hearing live piano music,” Hackett said. “It’s very soothing. It’s unusual to hear live music in a hospital environment. We are fortunate to have Margaret Alkek Williams support our Crain Garden Concert Series, which features more than 150 performances a year from choirs, orchestras, high school bands and professional artists.”
In addition to the Crain Garden Concert Series, pianists perform daily at Houston Methodist’s satellite hospitals.
“All of our hospitals have live performances in their lobby,” Hackett said. “You will see employees stop as they walk through the hallway to stop and enjoy the music. You will see patients come down, being brought by their family members to listen. It is amazing to look at their faces and see if we can relieve a little bit of their pain or discomfort by listening to music. It makes a world of difference, and our patient experience surveys reflect that.”
Houston Methodist is continually ranked among the top hospitals in the United States by organizations like U.S. News & World Report and Americans for the Arts, and its commitment to caring for patients and employees as a whole may have something to do with that success.
“We are privileged and honored to be recognized as one of the top 10 organizations in the country that actually enrich the workplace as a result of integration of arts,” Hackett said. “It is nice to get awards, but our real award is seeing how it positively impacts our patients and employees so we can be leading medicine.”
Originally published on June 26th by Britni Riley on Texas Medical Center News.
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“If it weren’t for my doctors and coworkers, I’d be dead,” said Diana Corliss, a resident nurse at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital. “They refused to give up on me.” In August, staff members took turns physically compressing Corliss’s chest for a grueling 45 minutes in the hopes that her heart would jump back to life. The 61-year-old nurse became a patient when she collapsed on the floor after battling years of heart issues, including the implantation of several stents.
However, Corliss not only survived, but fully recovered with the help of the Houston Methodist’s new, local cardiac rehab program that she “can’t say enough good things about,” and returned to work just two-and-a-half months later. Throughout the ordeal, she noted, doctors, nurses and other staff she didn’t know checked in on her so frequently she found the profound kindness, support and care almost overwhelming.
“I’m truly a blessed person to be here,” said Corliss, who has worked for Houston Methodist for almost 20 years.
Houston Methodist Hospital is one of the “150 great places” to work in health care, according to Becker’s Hospital Review and is in the top workplaces as named by Forbes magazine. It’s also one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals and the No. 1 hospital in Texas and the Gulf Coast, reports U.S. News & World Report. It also was named to U.S. News’s prestigious Honor Roll for the second time.
Last year, Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital joined Houston Methodist Hospital and Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital in receiving Magnet designation, the highest and most prestigious distinction a health care organization can receive for nursing excellence and high quality patient care. Only 7 percent of U.S. hospitals ever achieve this recognition, which the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has described as “clearly the gold standard.”
“It shows we have a great workplace environment, including a shared governance that allows our nurses a voice in their professional practice, strong research, and evidence-based processes,” said Becky Chalupa, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Houston Methodist San Jacinto.
Chalupa joined Houston Methodist as an entry-level staff nurse 28 years ago after initially seeing how friendly and quality-driven the hospital’s employees were and has stayed for those same reasons.
“Through the years, Houston Methodist has always done the right thing not only for the patients, but for the employees. In any decision, from wellness programs to benefits and insurance to paid time off, it puts its staff’s interests first,” she said.
The organization also offers ample opportunity for advancement. This includes tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees and certifications, prep classes and direct reviews, a clinical ladder for those who want to advance their bedside skills, flexible schedules to make time for practicums and clinical hours, an accredited nurse residency program geared for those straight out of school, a mentorship program, and more.
“Houston Methodist is phenomenal for professional growth. We definitely encourage that,” said Chalupa, who herself rose from a staff nurse to her present position of Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer two years ago.
Houston Methodist, which includes seven hospitals throughout the system, supports and celebrates its staff with events such as daily festivities for hospital week and nurses week, an annual nursing awards gala, a day dedicated to newly certified nurses, and many work anniversary parties for those celebrating decades of service.
“The tenure that so many have here is a testament to this place,” said Chalupa, “We stay here because we’re treated well, we treat each other well, and we work together to provide top-notch, quality care.”