John Kieslich, Operations Assistant
John currently serves as the operations assistant for UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine (AIM) triaging patient referrals, engaging the community in 352Creates (an Arts & Health initiative engaging 14 counties in the 352 area code), designing marketing material, assisting in research, promoting free wellness activities for the community, and attending to patients and family members to connect them with resources to meet their unique needs.
John is also a part of the UF Health Integrative Medicine (ITM) team that brings mind-body interventions to patients, family members, staff, and the community to enhance coping with physical and emotional discomforts. He provides hospital staff education, attends wellness fairs and conferences, serves on research studies, and administers all wellness education programs.
In addition to his roles with AIM and ITM, John was the program assistant for the UF Center for Arts in Medicine (CAM), working under director Jill Sonke, to deliver arts in healthcare education. CAM is the leader in arts in healthcare education, instructing student and professional artists on how to effectively use the creative arts in the hospital setting. John continues to support CAM as a research associate and recently co-investigated a study assessing the impact of arts in medicine programming on the patient experience.
A native to the Jacksonville area, John moved to Gainesville in 2008 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He graduated in December 2013 with a degree in Agricultural Education and Communication and a specialization in Communication and Leadership Development.
Through his roles with AIM and ITM, John found a new purpose in supporting individuals in restoring wellbeing and social functioning. He is currently in the Master’s of Social Work program at Florida State University and expects to graduate in 2019. He works at the UF Dean of Students Office in the Care Area as a student counselor for students managing health diagnoses and challenging life circumstances.
John hopes to use his education and work experience to support individuals, families, and communities achieve optimal wellbeing through mindfulness, creativity, and the arts.