Health Humanities POETRY event with Hsien Seow and Shazia Hafiz Ramji 🗓

Join the Canadian Association for Health Humanities and the League of Canadian Poets on Wednesday, September 29, at 6:00pm EST for the September edition of Cross-Pollinations, with Hsien Seow of McMaster University and poet Shazia Hafiz Ramji.

The Canadian Association for Health Humanities and the League of Canadian Poets are partnering to deliver a series of monthly rounds focused on health, arts and humanities. These live sessions will feature both artists and professionals in the Health Humanities field for a multi-faceted conversation about topics related to healthcare, art, healing, and humanities.

In this ground-breaking new series, health humanities and poetry come together under the same scope, combining artistic expression with health practice and research. The conversations of Cross-Pollinations will illuminate new and emerging insights and perspectives on healthcare opportunities and challenges, healthcare approaches and advances, as well as build bridges of connection between health professionals, humanities and the arts.

This series is ideal for people in arts communities, poets and writers, as well as those working in healthcare.

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 12  Mainpro+® credits.

Our August event with a presentation from Zamina Mithani, Nancy Duan, and Karen Wang of the University of British Columbia, with a reading from poet Conyer Clayton, was absolutely delightful. If you couldn’t make it, or want to revisit the event, you can now watch the recording here:

Our September event next week also promises to be very exciting. Join us for a presentation from Hsien Seow of McMaster University, discussing the health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution.. Hsien Seow, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care and Health System Innovation. His interests are to improve the experience of facing serious illness for patients and families. Funded research focuses on provider education, home care interventions, and patient-family experience. He earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a BSc from Yale University. His research website is He is the co-host of the popular health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution, a public facing education about a re-imagining of palliative care, with a new season launching in September 2021.

Hsien will be joined by poet Shazia Hafiz Ramji, who will read following his presentation. Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s writing has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019Maisonneuve, and is forthcoming in Event and Canthius. Shazia was named as a “writer to watch” by the CBC, and her poetry and prose have been nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prizes. She is the author of Port of Being, a finalist for the 2019 Vancouver Book Award, BC Book Prizes (Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She is a co-editor for Watch Your Head, an anthology on the climate crisis and is at work on a novel.

We look forward to seeing you next week on Wednesday, September 29, at 6:00pm EST!


Nic Brewer
League of Canadian Poets

Connections – University of Alberta

The Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute (NMHI) at the University of Alberta

is launching the “CONNECTIONS” project: a collection of artwork and scientific images that portray the many aspects of neuroscience, brain diseases and mental health, and where art and neuroscience meet.

The NMHI invites artists, scientists, and persons with relevant lived experience to submit artwork that relates to this theme.

“Connections among brain cells make our brain work and determine who we are and how we feel and interact with the world. Connections within the brain and with the world around us can be lost or compromised in many brain diseases and mental health conditions. And, sometimes, they can be restored through empathy and care. From the neuroscientist to the patient, the carer and the clinician, NMHI believes that true and meaningful progress means everyone working together to understand, share, and empathize in order to promote connections, advance science, support each other and improve the life of those with neurological and mental health conditions.

The Connections project is an opportunity to showcase the connection between art and neuroscience as well as to support research at the NMHI. The NMHI at the University of Alberta is a multi-disciplinary research and teaching institute at the University of Alberta. It is home to over 150 scientists and clinicians dedicated to discovering how the nervous system works and the causes of neurological and mental health disorders, to develop new treatments and advance clinical care.”

Please see attached information for additional information, which includes the submission form.

Pamela Brett-MacLean, BA (Hons), MA, PhD (Pronouns: She/Her)
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry &
Director, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine
MD Program, and Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Health Sciences College
University of Alberta
1-001 Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy and Health Research
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1
Email:  | Phone: 780-492-0445 (Lisa Bussiere: MD Program/ AHHM Administrator)



The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.

Attachment: CALL FOR SUBMISSION_FINAL.pdf (application/pdf)

Synesthesia 2021 Virtual Art Exhibit is LIVE !

ARTBEAT is pleased to announce that Synesthesia 2021 is now live.

Synesthesia is an annual exhibit of visual and literary art created by health professional students, staff, faculty, and alumni at the University of Toronto. This year the exhibit is virtual.
 We hope you have a chance to relax and browse through the exhibit over the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
See the exhibit here:
Please also visit the ARTBEAT student humanities blog at :
The Synesthesia Team



Our next meeting (March 16th) will be, yet again, a little different. Taking our cue from poetry and comics, we’ll use MK Czerwiec’s panels of Pablo Neruda’s “Keeping Quiet” as a jumping off point.

And here is the Neruda’s poem in its entirety:

Neruda in Quarantine | MK Czerwiec
Neruda in Quarantine Comic Nurse® Twitter; Facebook; Pinterest; Email; More …

We’d like everyone to partake in an exercise: creating your own 4-panel comic.

We’ll spend some time during the session making these so no need to create in advance. We’ll instruct you and create accordingly.

Hope to see you at our Zoom session:

Thanks all,

Conor and Jane

Representations of Pain: An Online Exhibition and Event

From the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University (Montreal) :

We are thrilled to invite you to the launch of our interactive online installation, Representations of Pain, which interrogates representations and expands definitions of pain through a variety of media, from fine arts to the sciences. Curated by Thalia Stefaniuk, designed by Michael Ferrier, and based on Ariela Freedman’s research on pain and representation, this digital exhibition and event explores the many ways in which artists imagine and explore pain, grief, and suffering.

The work of Quinlan Deer, Jane Eyre Jordans, Christeen Francis, Alec Gandy, Cat Prince, Ms. Teri, Valentine Abraham, Anne Isabelle Leonard, Claire Ellen Paquet, Daniel Almeida, and Amanda Brown varies in subject and medium, but each one grapples with the language of pain, the articulation of suffering in body, mind, and culture, and the moments of relief provided by fantasy, beauty, and empathy. Explore the artists; attend the symposium; participate in an interactive performance. See the poster attached for dates and register for our symposium on the home page, and for interactive performances on Valentine Abraham and Anne Isabelle Leonard’s artist pages.

In this moment of pandemic anxiety and political reckoning, as we isolate from one another in a global time of suffering, and struggle to come together for social change, our hope is this exhibition will provide beauty, community and solace.

Follow us on instagram for updates.


Thalia Stefaniuk
Michael Ferrier
Ariela Freedman

New Seminar – Mixed-Media in Medicine (MMM) 🗓

At the University of Toronto, Narrative Medicine and Arts-based Curricula are staples of Undergraduate Studies in Medicine and increasingly through Residency and beyond. The opportunities afforded for engagement, reflection and social connection enrich and encourage trainees and faculty alike to learn in transformative ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many burdens on both learners and practitioners, however, it has also presented us with an opportunity to explore new connections both virtual and visual.

Mixed-Media & Medicine (MMM) – A  New Virtual Narrative Medicine Space Open To All  

Offers a novel discussion space for group learning, reflection and new modes of presentation that are open to all medical learners – student, faculty & staff alike. From our own UofT literary journal ARS MEDICA ( to Zine Archives in Graphic Medicine ( everything in between (Poetry, Comics, YOUTUBES, Monologues, Short Short Stories you name it), we are excited to provide a safe space for participants to discuss short(ish) representations that address spirit, wellness, resilience , consciousness, and reflection.  This is an inclusive environment to which ALL are welcomed and equally valued. Please spread the word amongst all people medical – students, faculty, colleagues, tutors, professors, residents, fellows, undergrads, postgrads. Come one come all !  Join us for the Mixed Media in Medicine (MMM) get-together (beginning November 24th, 2020) from 6 pm until 7. MMM will continue on the second Tuesday of every month starting in January 2021.

The Meeting Itself:
When: Nov 24, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Some Housekeeping:
First, please take a moment to subscribe to our MMM listserv; please send an e-mail message to: and remember if possible to use your email to subscribe. In the BODY of your message, please type the following: subscribe HAH-MMM-L your Firstname and Lastname (Example: subscribe HAH-MMM-L Bruce Wayne). A confirmation request message will be sent to your email account with a confirmation link.

Dr. Conor Mc Donnell, Staff Anesthesiologist 
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
PeriOperative Services Associate Chief for Patient Safety & Quality Improvement
Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine Patient Safety & Quality Program Director
Hospital Patient Safety Physician & Medication Safety Physician Lead, The Hospital for Sick Children

Art is Patient seminar series-Visual Literacy Training 🗓

Art is Patient

November 2020 (online)
This 3-part seminar guides Medical Students, Residents , Physicians and Other Health Professionals in :
·    close observation of art
·    group reflection and
·    art-making
within the art galleries and museums of the world (via virtual visits), to let art tell us what we need to know about seeing, witnessing and engaging in the context of care. The art gallery allows objects and images to clarify the doctor-patient relationship in ways the clinic can’t, giving us space to question and understand our roles with one another without the usual pressures to know or perform or explain.
·    Foster cognitive skills such as description and interpretation (and better understand the distinction between the two), critical thinking and metacognition
·    Sharpen technical abilities such as close observation, diagnostic acumen, pattern recognition and the perception of non-verbal cues
·    Deepen interpersonal skills with both patients and colleagues, such as collaboration, social awareness and cultural sensitivity
·    Nurture humanistic qualities such as tolerance of ambiguity, creativity and self-reflection
·    Understand the role of embodied witnessing in the practice of medicine.
Seminar leader
Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Adjunct Professor U of T Dept of Psychiatry, is an art therapist, psychotherapist and educator. She co-founded WRAP (within the Trauma Therapy Program) at Women’s College Hospital in 1998. Her chapter, co-authored with Shelley Wall, “The Visible Curriculum”, which appears in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education (Oxford U Press, 2018) expands on how looking at and making art can vitalize learning in medicine. She offers art-based medical education initiatives in hospitals, museums and community studios.
Time and place:
One series of 3 sessions per semester
3 consecutive Mondays 6:30pm-8:30pm: November 2, 9, 16
Via Zoom meeting
Open to all U of T Medical Students, Residents, practising Physicians/Faculty and Learners from other clinical disciplines on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cost for participation but enrolment is required and ATTENDANCE IS EXPECTED AT ALL THREE seminar/workshops. Please do not take a spot if you cannot commit to attend.
 No art experience is necessary. Basic pencil and paper are needed as art materials.
For more information and to register, please contact:
There will be a second offering in second term (2021)-stay tuned!
* *  *   *    *     *      *       *
Eva-Marie Stern, RP MA
Adjunct Faculty, Dept of Psychiatry, U of Toronto
Specialist in Arts-based Education

CAHH Special General Meeting and Inaugural Virtual Rounds,1 October 2020 🗓

For members of the Canadian Association for Health Humanities

Membership info at  : :

Good afternoon to all,

I hope this finds you and yours well at a singular time, to say the least. As CAHH members from 2018-2019, I wanted to notify you of two events coming up on  Thursday, 1 October 2020: the CAHH Special General Meeting (SGM) and our inaugural Virtual Rounds (to be held by Zoom). Details are below for each, but I wanted to note that the SGM will be for members only. If you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so at as we’d love to have you there!

If you have already renewed your membership for this year, feel free to disregard that and my apologies for the extra e-mail. Please see details of the sessions below, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Brett Schrewe (CAHH Secretary-Communications Officer)

On behalf of the CAHH Executive and Advisory Council

CAHH Special General Meeting (SGM)

  • 14h30-15h30 (PDT)
  • 15h30-16h30 (MDT)
  • 16h30-17h30 (CDT)
  • 17h30-18h30 (EDT)
  • 18h30-19h30 (ADT)
  • 19h00-20h00 (NDT)

The Zoom link will be sent to CAHH members by separate e-mail in the days to come! The SGM Agenda and associated documents will be available on the CAHH website prior to the SGM (

CAHH Virtual Rounds

This event is open to the general public, is co-hosted by the University of Alabama’s Art of Medicine Rounds, and will be held immediately following the SGM as follows:

  • 15h30-17h30 (PDT)
  • 16h30-18h30 (MDT)
  • 17h30-19h30 (CDT)
  • 18h30-20h30 (EDT)
  • 19h30-21h30 (ADT)
  • 20h00-22h00 (NDT)

The Zoom link will be available in the coming days.

We are ecstatic to feature the following presenters!

  • Malika Sharma, MD, MEd, FRCPC (Toronto, Ontario), “Whose Stories, Whose Voices: Troubling Humanism in Medicine”
  • Tracy Moniz, PhD (Halifax, Nova Scotia), “How and why are the arts and humanities used in medical education? A scoping review of the literature”

Poetry presented by

  • Don Colburn MA, MFA (Oregon, USA)
  • Jack Coulehan MD, MPH (New York, USA)


Our students from the ARTBEAT HEALTH HUMANITIES BLOG and  the SYNESTHESIA ART CLUB have curated a wonderful art exhibit, now available to view online.

Creative expression has flourished in these challenging times  and SYNESTHESIA now helps us launch into a new academic term.

SYNESTHESIA  is an annual event which showcases multi-media  works from students, staff , faculty and alumni from all clinical disciplines and departments in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto .

Here is the link to the virtual exhibit:



Announcements for ARS MEDICA -Canada’s Leading Medical Humanities Journal

“ARS MEDICA-A JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES”  is an award winning , biannual literary journal that explores the interface between the arts and healing, and examines what makes medicine an art . The journal was founded by medical educators at the University of Toronto in 2004.

Here are 2 updates from Allison Crawford MD, Editor-In-Chief :

1. Announcement of our new issue: 

Our latest issue (15.1) of Ars Medica has been published and is available to read online

2. Call for an upcoming Special Covid-related issue – submissions due September 18 2020. The call is attached, and can also be accessed at:

Synesthesia Art Show goes virtual! 🗓

SYNESTHESIA, the annual art show curated by medical students at the University of Toronto will be online as of August 24, 2020.

Stay tuned for launch details !     🖼

Meanwhile,  artists using any media and from any healthcare/clinical discipline at the University of Toronto are invited to submit  a piece  by JULY 24, 2020  .
Here is the link to the submission form:
Students, residents, fellows, faculty, researchers, practitioners and  alumni  are ALL invited to contribute to our virtual exhibit. Every year, SYNESTHESIA grows more interprofessional and multidisiplinary, showcasing the extraordinary creativity of  our campus.  🎨