Thousand Oaks ACORN June 19th edition

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE:

Living with Diabetes and Heart Disease

Day 2 at the Westminster Free Clinic

INTEGRATIVE HEALTH WORKSHOPS

An Interactive, supportive and healing experience


PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Living with Diabetes and Heart Disease

at the Westminster Free Clinic on May 28 and June 4, 2014

On May 28th The Human Element Project launched the first of two hands-on workshops with patients at the The Westminster FREE Clinic in Thousand Oaks, CA. The clinic serves low-income and uninsured residents of Ventura County. Over 300 healthcare professionals and 80 local high school interns provide free bilingual services to over 7,000 individuals annually! The clinic's services include primary care, mental health counseling, diagnostics, case management, specialty referrals, diabetes management and education, vision tests and free eye glasses.


We asked the patients to paint a picture that illustrates what they have learned about how to effectively participate in managing their medical challenges. The enthusiastic responses are a testimony to how creative expression can inform, engage, educate and heal. The patients loved the experience, and it was a testament to the effectiveness of the clinic's work.


© 2017 The Human Element Project

Supported by The USC Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery

The workshop's second day attracted 25 more enthusiastic patients anxious to jump in and express themselves. Again, through their paintings, the second group of patients also reflected how much they have learned about managing their disease as a result of the clinic's services. Many of the participants from last week returned to see their work on display and some even participated for a second time!

The integrative health component of The Human Element Project is designed to encourage patients suffering from a variety of diseases to share their experiences. But more importantly, the patients are invited to share the tools they have acquired for coping with their challenges in positive ways. These tools might include anything from advice on diet or treatment options to spiritual care in the form of a prayer or poem. Regardless of the form, this opportunity for sharing allows patients to support one another in the healing journey.  


Each patient created a painting, and then signed their work with their initials and their age in a format that replicates the labeling on the periodic table of elements. In this way, each patient becomes his or her own “Human Element.”  The completed works can be used as part of a permanent or traveling exhibition that can be installed in any configuration in any size space