ASH Annual Meeting Gets Artsy for Attendee Wellness

Author: Michelle Russell       

ASH asked participants at its annual meeting to share their answers to the question, “What Keeps Your Heart in Medicine?”

Best in Show 2019: 60th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition
Dec. 1–4, 2018San Diego, California29,272 attendees

“Many medical specialty professionals, physicians, and researchers face challenges when it comes to maintaining personal and career balance, and the growing expectations for health-care providers is leading to burnout or worse,” said William F. Reed, FASAE, CMP, chief event strategy officer for the American Society of Hematology (ASH). “These professionals can focus so much on caring for patients that they can sometimes neglect themselves. ASH seeks to raise awareness of the issue and encourage hematologists to think about wellness and resilience in a proactive way.”

During its Annual Meeting in 2018, ASH presented an art exhibit called “Expressions of Clinical Well-Being,” that included resilience-themed artwork created by physicians and curated by The National Academy of Medicine. The Academy offers a smaller-scale, portable version of the exhibit for medical societies to use at their meetings, however, Reed said, “that portable exhibit would have been out of scale at ASH’s large convention of close to 30,000 attendees.”

Best in Show 2019: More Inspiring, Creative Ideas for Events

So ASH expanded the scope of the exhibit and created 3D art walls, pairing the exhibit with an opportunity for participants to engage and share their thoughts on “What Keeps Your Heart in Medicine?” The question, Reed said, “was inspired by one of the marquee pieces of art in the collection.”

Graphic recorders were on hand to help participants translate their thoughts into illustrated images so attendees could learn what other members of the community are doing to address the issue of taking care of themselves while staying true to their medical passion.

In 2019, Reed said, ASH will expand the initiative to include a new ASH Wellness Studio where micro-bursts of education will be offered to participants throughout the meeting.

Michelle Russell is Convene editor in chief.

Art Therapy

art at events

The American Society of Hematology presented an art exhibit called “Expressions of Clinical Well-Being” at its 2018 annual meeting. (Photos courtesy ASH)

art at events

Graphic recorders captured ASH attendees’ thoughts about their jobs and personal well-being.

art at events

The art exhibit included resilience-themed artwork created by physicians and curated by The National Academy of Medicine.

art at events

Art in the exhibit explores what clinician burnout, clinician well-being, and clinician resilience looks, feels and sounds like to people across the country.


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