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University Hospital Galway and Saolta Arts welcomed World Health Organisation Arts and Health Lead Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey, Arts and Health Lead at the World Health Organization and co-founder of the Jameel Arts & Health Lab visited University Hospital Galway (UHG) on 06 March as part of his visit to Ireland to promote Creative Brain Week 2024. 

Creative Brain Week is a Global Brain Health Institute innovation of Trinity College Dublin, presented in association with the World Health Organisation, Jameel Arts & Health Lab, with support from Creative Ireland and the Atlantic Institute.

Now entering its third year, Creative Brain Week has rapidly achieved local and international significance in its examination of how brain science and creativity collide.

This annual week of events explores and promotes the relationships between creativity and the brain in areas including social development, technology, the arts, entrepreneurship, brain health and physical health.

Christopher Bailey said: “As part of Creative Brain Week, I want to see what the experience of locally seeded Irish projects suggests to the rest of the world and I believe that Ireland is a world leader in this field. I am really keen to visit these projects. meet their supporters, learn how they started and understand what sustains them, particularly in these uncertain times.”

Saolta Arts in Galway was chosen to be part of this nationwide tour to mark Creative Brain Week 2024. The arts and health programme was established over 20 years ago to promote the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors in Galway University Hospitals, other hospitals in the Saolta Group and the wider community, by developing and implementing arts programmes which facilitate access to and participation in the arts and also advance arts education and appreciation. In that time Saolta Arts works with artists and healthcare staff to provide and create healthcare environments that are welcoming, reassuring, stimulating and which reflect the needs and values of the local community.

Margaret Flannery, Saolta Arts Director said: “We are delighted to be one of three groups selected for Christopher’s trip to the West of Ireland. Christopher met with artists, healthcare staff and key stakeholders, followed by a tour of the hospital where he experienced live programming with music, art and poetry and heard from staff who help make the magic happen on a daily basis, making our hospitals a place of possibilities!

“Saolta Arts works with leading artists, arts organisations, healthcare staff and partners through a broad range of approaches and art forms, we support the discovery and development of individual and collective creative potential. We believe that our work encourages new ways of seeing the clinical setting from environmental enhancement through to participatory arts and live events.”

Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer, Saolta Group, said: “Arts and Culture are embedded in the fibre of Galway city and county, and it is only natural that within the healthcare sector, we embrace it as well for the benefit of our patients and staff alike.  Feedback from our patients and staff confirms the importance of this. The arts programme has humanised the clinical setting for everyone.”

Christopher Bailey, Arts and Health Lead at the World Health Organization, concluded his visit to UHG saying: “I had an amazing day at University Hospital Galway. A rare example of how the arts are integrated into nearly every aspect of care.  From obstetrics to the mortuary, literally.”


The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
All Hospitals