Summit Brings Together Diverse Cross-Section of Experts from Multiple Sectors

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WASHINGTON – Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, announced today their third national summit of the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military (NIAHM) taking place on Friday, February 27, 2015. The summit is sponsored by Americans for the Arts and the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Heath (NCCIH)/National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and is open to the media (details below).
The summit will bring together a diverse cross-section of more than 300 researchers, administrators, practitioners, and decision-makers from the military, veterans, heath, arts and creative arts therapies, non-profit civilian, public and private sectors.
“It is critical that we address the needs of service members and their families, from pre-deployment, deployment, to reintegration into civilian life,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “While the arts and military connection is stronger than ever today, there is still much to explore about the many powerful benefits of arts and health programming in the military.”
Symposia and break-out group discussions will examine the current evidence base for the efficacy of the arts and creative art therapies in helping service members and veterans recover from illness and injury, with an emphasis on current topics of interest to military and veterans health, including resilience, physical and psychological healing, family strengthening, and reintegration.
"The National Initiative promises revolutionary new systems of healing as we bring the power of the arts and music to bear on military brain injury and PTSD. New and advanced metrics will show the positive effects of these engagements. Both military and civilian health systems will benefit," said Frederick O. Foote, MD, CAPT, MC, USN (Ret), a founding member of the NIAHM and break-out session presenter.  
Event highlights include:
  • Opening remarks on why research is a critical area of interest for the NIAHM and NCCIH, by Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch, and Josephine P. Briggs, MD, Director, NCCIH/NIH.
  • Emmeline Edwards, PhD, Director, Division of Extramural Research, NCCIH/NIH, will moderate the first symposium on current NIH and Department of Defense-funded research projects that employ arts-based interventions and integrative approaches in military populations, featuring Joke Bradt, PhD, MT-BC, Associate Professor, Music Therapy, Creative Arts Therapies, Drexel University; Donald McGeary, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, School of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center; and Daniel Ragsdale, PhD, COL, USA (Ret), Program Manager, Information Innovation Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
  • Kristen Huntley, PhD, Program Director, Division of Extramural Research, NCCIH/NIH, will moderate the second symposium on current NIH-funded research projects with implications for military populations, with Nina Kraus, PhD, Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology at Northwestern University; Richard Gershon, PhD, Associate Professor, Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine-Health and Biomedical Informatics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; and Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier, III, MD, COL (Ret), MC, USA, Program Director Emeritus, National Capital Consortium’s Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Program; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; Professor in Anesthesiology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; Diplomat, The American Board of Anesthesiology.
  • Concurrent break-out sessions examining creative arts therapies in interdisciplinary patient-centered care at National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) facilities; research innovations on integrative care in military health settings and applications for the arts; creative arts therapies and community connections designed to move veterans along the continuum of care and back into strong community roles; art-based research and tools across military and veteran settings; and research on military family health and well-being and applications for the arts. Jeneanne Rae, founder and CEO of Motiv, will facilitate a breakout group summation focusing on top-line findings and key ideas emerging from each breakout group.
  • The final symposium, moderated by Sunil Iyengar, Research & Analysis Director, NEA; Chair, Interagency Task Force on Arts and Human Development, will explore strategies for building capacity for arts-related research in military and veteran settings, with Wayne B. Jonas, MD, LTCOL (Ret), MC, USA, President and CEO, Samueli Institute; Julene Johnson, PhD, University of California , San Francisco, (UCSF) Institute for Health and Aging and UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities; and Sara M. Kass, MD, CAPT (Ret), USN, former NICoE Special Assistant to the Commander, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
  • NEA Chairman Jane Chu will deliver closing remarks. 
Event details and media attendance
A full agenda, along with time and location, is here
NIH visitor information is here.
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Reporters should contact Inga Vitols at (202) 371-2830 or [email protected] to register to attend. Due to tight security, reporters must register. 
Founded in 2012, NIAHM is led by Americans for the Arts and supported in part by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Working across military, veterans, government, private and non-profit sectors, NIAHM’s goals are to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for heath in the military; raise visibility, understand, and supports of arts and health in the military; and make the arts as tools for health available to all active duty military, staff, family members, and veterans. More information on NIAHM can be found here
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at