AIM is part of a whole-person approach to healthcare focusing on the mind, body, and spirit of a patient or caregiver. AIM is part of the growing field of arts and health that acknowledges that the arts play a critical role in human well-being as supported by research and experience. “Arts and health” aligns with the World Health Organization’s definition of health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
AIM was created in 2013 and developed out of the education and outreach program of the Alys Stephens Center in partnership with UAB Medicine. As a pilot project AIM started with art programs conducted by trained Artists in Residence in two hospitals for 10 hours a week.
The Institute has grown to provide programs for 70 hours a week and has served over 170,000 patients, families and staff at UAB Hospital, St. Vincent’s East and Children’s of Alabama. Art experiences are provided at bedsides, group settings and in hospital waiting areas. AIM also offers programs beyond healthcare settings, including workshops for senior adults in HUD-subsidized independent living facilities and in-person and virtual programs for people with disabilities and chronic illness.
AIM services are provided by professional Artists in Residence at UAB hospital and by credentialed creative arts therapists at Children’s of Alabama and St. Vincent’s East.
Artists in Residence specialize in visual arts, music, dance and movement, creative and expressive writing, and storytelling.
Research suggests arts in health can:
• Reduce anxiety and perceived pain in the hospital setting
• Help to prevent the onset of mental illness and age-related physical decline
• Support the treatment or management of mental illness, noncommunicable diseases and neurological disorders
• Assist in acute and end-of-life care
AIM works closely with the UAB’s School of Health Professions Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) to study the impact of its programs and add to research in the field of Arts and Health.
AIM is part of a patient-centered approach to health care that addresses the needs of the mind, body and spirit. AIM strives to transform the environment of care and enhance healing and well-being for our patients, families and staff through creative arts experiences.
1200 10th Ave South
Birmingham, AL 35205