Consultation: Healing, Restorative Environments in Healthcare

Consultation in the Creation, Development, and Maintenance of Healing, Restorative, Life-Enhancing Environment

Dr. Young-Mason provides consultation to health care administration and staff in urban and rural settings. The guiding philosophy of her work is based upon the following definition.

The environment consists of the physical and aesthetic elements of every space within and outside any building and every social and professional interaction that takes place within each of those places.  A healing, restorative, life-enhancing environment can only be achieved when physical spaces are designed, arranged, and maintained to accommodate all human beings in comfort and safety in aesthetically pleasing spaces that afford access to natural elements, and when each individual maintains a consistent standard of care and concern for all who utilize these spaces.  Aesthetically pleasing spaces are those which take into account the perception of the five senses and their impact on health and healing.  These spaces embody beauty, color, light, nature and privacy.  Paramount to all of these components is a requisite mindful humaneness of each member of the staff. * Mindful humaneness embodies an attentive presence, listening with discernment, deep understanding of the words and language that enhance dialogue and communication, and the ability to communicate with clarity, confidence and ease.

* Staff implies all medical and non-medical personnel and administration.

Consultation Projects


The Community Arts Health and Healing Project (CAHH) was created by Frederick C. Tillis, PhD and Director Emeritus of the UMass Fine Arts Center and Jazz musician and composer and Jeanine Young-Mason, RN,EdD,CS,FAAN, Professor and Director of the Office for the Advancement of Nursing Education, School of Nursing.  Its intention was to serve the communities of the region and state through unique cultural and educational ideas and faculty and programs developed at the university.  It was an innovative, interdisciplinary project in which the arts and health are joined in outreach programs presented in hospital, senior centers, long-term care institutions, and special schools.  Within the scope of the CAHH numerous activities that were offered: performance art, expressive arts, horticultural therapy, and the development of healing gardens.  Essential to its success was the diverse and talented faculty who comprised the Advisory Board and without whom this work would not have been possible.  The convergence of disciplines provided unique opportunities for those who were without the enrichment of the arts in their lives.  The enrichment of institutional professional and ancillary staff was equally important.   Dr. Tillis gave performances both solo and with musicians from his jazz quartet.  These performances were given for children in residential care, residents in long-term care and senior citizens centers.  In addition, he has given poetry readings of his own original works. Retired faculty artists  volunteered their performances.  Expressive arts and healthcare students were enfolded into the project.  It is important to note that the artists/performers were affected and inspired by their audience’s responses.

Young-Mason’s work with the CAHH project and presently has been centered on creating healing environments in healthcare institutions.  At Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, MA, she was Co-Director with Karen Moore, RN,MS,CS, Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer of Franklin Medical Center Healing Arts Project from 1999 to 2004. It continues as  a multidisciplinary project involving professional staff of FMC, volunteers and community representatives from Greenfield and the surrounding region and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty.  The project, now under new directorship, continues to promote the role of the arts and humanities to improve the quality of health care through  performances and exhibitions in performance and expressive arts, healing gardens and horticultural therapy, and expressive art therapeutic interventions of art, drama, music, voice, reading to another and the development of healing environments. We began our work in 1999 by building a Healing Environment Committee from within the hospital comprised of representatives of Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Physical Therapy, Patient Activities, Radiation, Development, and Dietary Departments, Chaplaincy Program, Ladies Visiting Committee, and Administration.

From its inception the art of local artists and patients of all ages was exhibited throughout the hospital.  A monthly concert series continues to be offered throughout the year.  The inner courtyard was restored into a beautiful healing garden designed by UMass landscape artist Nick Dines, FASLA   Dedicated in May of 2001 The Edna Lemay Healing Garden is a source of inspiration and hope for patients, family and friends alike.  Performances and celebrations are held in the garden.

Recently, Dr. Young-Mason consulted to Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Healing Environment Committee (HEC), which she chaired with Cynthia Medeiros, LICSW. The committee’s work which began  in 2005 honored the mission of DFCI which seeks to provide expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer. An innovative, inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional project which enhanced compassionate care through transformation of the social, operational, and physical environment. The HEC successfully completed several projects including the renovation of the entrance and main lobby of Dana-Farber .The HEC consulted to and supported the D-F Planning Committee's work on the indoor healing garden in the new Yawkey Center for Cancer Care and other transformations.  (See feature articles:  and Healing.html)

Download the Community Arts and Healing Project brochure (Click to view PDF)

Download the Franklin Medical Center: Healing Environment Project brochure (Click to view PDF)

Franklin Medical Center, 1999
Frederick Tillis, Jeanine Young-Mason, Beverly Hill, Horace Boyer - Franklin Medical Center, January 1999 

"Hospital Strives To Make a Difference With 'Healing Arts.' Opinion Editorial. The Healthcare News. Springfield, MA, February 2002. (Click to Read).

Sunday Republican Article

Nightingale on beauty, color, and light: 

The effect in sickness of beautiful objects, of variety of objects and especially brilliancy of color is hardly at all appreciated….I have seen in fevers…the most acute suffering produced in the patient…not being able to see out of the window and the knots in the wood being the only view. I shall never forget the rapture of fever patients over a bunch of bright colored flowers.  I remember (in my own case) a nosegay of wild flowers being sent me, and from that moment recovery becoming more rapid. 

People say the effect is in the mind.  It is no such thing.  The effect is on the body, too.  Little as we know about the way in which we are affected  by form, by colour and light, we do know this, they have an actual physical effect.  

Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.” 

Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not, 1888