On January 27, the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health hosted a three-part series entitled “Evening of Health, Wellness, and the Arts.” The event was designed to bring the patient’s voice to the Leading Voices in Public Health Lecture Series. The evening began with “Dispatches from the Other Kingdom: The Cancer Journey” a five-person theatre performance, conceived and directed by Dr. Joseph Sobol, professor and director of the Graduate Program in Storytelling. Dr. Sobol worked with students to create the theatre piece based on cancer patients’ personal narratives, which had been collected as part of a collaborative research study with the East Tennessee School of Medicine and Department of Oncology, funded by the National Institutes of Health.
During the intermission, the audience was able to view black and white photographs taken at the Niswonger Children’s Hospital, conceptualized and curated by members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. The evening then concluded with the performance of “My Brain Tumor: A Mind Expanding Comedy” written and performed by Mr. David Nathan Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz, a professional actor whose film credits include I Am Sam, The Sweetest Thing and Hurt, reports that the play was developed in an attempt to channel “the surreal experience” of his family member’s recovery from a brain operation.
Approximately 300 students, faculty, staff and members of the public attended the event. The “Evening of Health, Wellness, and the Arts” was co-sponsored by East Tennessee, the Public Health Student Association, the Gold Humanism Society and the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the Department of Art and Design and the Division of Theatre and Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Storytelling Masters Program at the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education.
[Photo: (top) The cast of “Dispatches from the Other Kingdom: the Cancer Journey.” Photo by Charlie Warden. (right) Ms. Jessica Albright, Vice President of the Gold Humanism Honor Society of the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, discusses some of the photographs from the Evening of Health, Wellness, and the Arts with Associate Dean Tom Kwasigroch and Dr. Chris Newell Kwasigroch, CME Program Coordinator.]