The mission of the Community Healing through Art Medicine Program (CHAMP) at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a medical student-run organization, is to amplify the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts for wellness and healing through a volunteer program and educational events. The medical student volunteers are trained annually in our Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring Program, which enables them to bring weekly music, writing, movement, and art activities to patients and families at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the neurology and neurosurgery unit as well as to the homeless and other vulnerable populations through the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA and to older adults through the Companion Care Program (a division of the UCLA Department of Geriatrics).  Plans have also been underway to expand services to the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology.

The arts activities give participants a voice for their feelings, an opportunity for reflection and meaningful dialogue, and a way to connect. They also empower participants with tools for managing stress and pain, as well as improving mood. All parties involved benefit from the interactions, including the medical student facilitators who develop greater empathy for patients and greater ability to connect with them. These activities also offer opportunities for self-care.

CHAMP, which was founded in early 2016 and initially called the Therapeutic Arts Group, expanded to include UCLA undergraduate volunteers as well. In addition, the group aims to educate medical students and the community at large about the physical and emotional benefits of art through lunch talks and collaborations with other student groups.

For more information on our Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring Program, click here.

For more information on CHAMP, contact communityengagement@mednet.ucla.edu, (310) 206-1441, 1100 Glendon Avenue, Suite 850, Los Angeles, CA 90024.