Reverend Betsy Jay, MDiv, MSEd
Chaplain, Bassett Medical Center
Reverend Betsy Jay, MDiv, MSEd in counseling, is chaplain at Bassett Medical Center and Rachel Damroth, MPH, BS, BSN, RN is a bedside nurse in the hospital's 14-bed open ICU. Together, with Ilona van der Ven, BSN, RN, they founded the Arts in Healthcare Program at Bassett Medical Center. The three set out to form a program that would deliberately brighten everyone's day via different art forms. The 180-bed teaching hospital for surgical and medical residents, Columbia University medical students, nursing and allied health students, is nestled in rural Cooperstown, NY and serves as the care hub for central New York. Over 5,000 community members are admitted to and visit the hospital each year. After hearing Claire de Boer speak at a nursing recognition dinner in December 2017, the Arts in Healthcare Program was born. In April 2018, the program proposal was approved by the hospital's Executive Operating Team. The first concerts and crafternoon experiences have been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Fund development is already underway as the program continues to create sustainability.