The Literature and Medicine program seeks to improve the quality of healthcare in California’s VA hospitals. Throughout the program, hospital workers are encouraged to engage in conversations about issues revealed through poetry, plays, personal narratives, and films. These facilitated discussions allow them to gain a better understanding of the circumstances that brought their patients to them, and therefore, to better empathize and communicate with wounded veterans and their family members.
Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care (R) is a national program initiated by the Maine Humanities Council. It is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Veterans Administration, and private funders.