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UB Center for the Arts Executive Director Thomas Burrows Designated as a Distinguished Fellow by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: May 8, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo has announced that Executive Director Thomas Burrows has been designated as a Distinguished Fellow by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. The honor was given at the organization's 23rd annual international conference, which took place May 2-5 in Detroit.

The society selects Distinguished Fellows to recognize those members who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the arts in health-care field. Distinguished Fellows have made significant and influential contributions in at least one of the following four areas: 1) distinguished contributions to the society; 2) distinguished contributions to the field outside of the society; 3) distinguished scholarly/academic contributions to the arts in health-care field; or, 4) distinguished diverse contributions to the arts in health-care field. Excellence within these categories is the hallmark of a Distinguished Fellow. Together, the work of the society's Distinguished Fellows encompasses the vast landscape of the arts in health care and represents the tremendous strides the field has made over the past two decades.

Burrows has led the creation and continued development of UB Center for the Arts' Arts in Healthcare Initiative. This innovative collaboration with Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo brings the performing and visual arts into the health-care setting creating opportunities for stress relief, relaxation, healing and communication. The program benefits patients, their families and caregivers, visitors and staff. The initiative was launched in the fall of 2008 at both partner hospitals and currently employs 10 artists in residence from the Buffalo arts community. The center also brings professional touring artists to the hospitals for performances and residency/workshop activities.

In the program's four years of existence, it has already gained national attention. Burrows sits on the national board for the Society for Arts in Healthcare. The center, in partnership with the University of Florida Center for the Arts in Medicine, also hosts an annual two-week Arts in Healthcare Clinical Practice Intensive, which brings participants from the U.S., Canada and beyond to UB to explore the arts in health care environment and to develop or deepen their arts in health care practice. The next Clinical Practice Intensive will be held July 30 to Aug. 10 at UB Center for the Arts. More information on Center for the Arts programs and initiatives is available at http://www.ubcfa.org.

About the Society for the Arts in Healthcare:

The Society for the Arts in Healthcare is a nonprofit 501(c)3 international organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1991, the society is dedicated to advancing the arts as integral to health care. The society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Johnson & Johnson, provides program development support through grants, consulting services, and conferences and symposia designed to reach a wide range of arts and health-care organizations. Over 1,700 Society for the Arts in Healthcare members, including artists and health-care professionals, serve patients and their families around the globe. For more information, visit http://www.thesah.org.