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UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine (AIM) was founded in 1990 at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. AIM is a multidisciplinary organization, with programs in the visual, literary, contemplative and performance arts. AIM serves inpatients and outpatients of all ages, their families, visitors, health care providers, and the Gainesville and statewide communities. The program is focused on transforming healthcare environments through the arts and providing leadership for hospital arts programs throughout the nation.

Our program facilitates arts activities, workshops and performances in three hospitals and numerous out-patient clinics, and is known internationally as one of the leaders in the field of arts in healthcare.

Arts in Medicine Milestones:

  • 1990 – Established a rotating exhibition program at Shands Cancer Center
  • 1991 – AIM’s first “in hospital” Artist in Residence
  • 1992 – Established Shands’ art acquisition program
  • 1994 – Atrium Performance Series
  • 1996 – The Healing Wall installation
  • 1996 – Established the nation’s first university level coursework in the Arts in Medicine
  • 1998 – The Healing Ceilings
  • 1999 – Established the Center for Arts in Medicine (formally the Center for Arts in Healthcare Research and Education or CAHRE), our academic extension at UF for education, training and research
  • 2004 – AIM Together – a groundbreaking partnership with the University of Florida Performing Arts
  • 2005 – Following Hurricane Katrina, established the first ever artists training program for the American Red Cross in conjunction with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana to offer aid to disaster areas
  • 2006 – Established an artist exchange and artist in residence program with the Mater Hospital in Kenya, Africa
  • 2008 – Arts in Healthcare for Rural Communities initiative begins in Franklin County, FL
  • 2009 – Development of programs for patients with Parkinsons Disease in collaboration with the UF Center for Movement Disorders
  • 2009 – Opening of the Criser Cancer Resource Center
  • 2012 – Establishment of Integrative Medicine & Arts Therapies programs
  • 2014 – Established first MA program for Arts in Medicine
  • 2014 – Opening of UF Health Children’s Hospital Lobby