Walter Reed Healing Program Promotes Wellness Through Art

Story Number: NNS110908-08Release Date: 9/8/2011 1:57:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Katie Bradley, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Grammy-nominated progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon is scheduled to perform at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Sept. 14 as part of the hospital's "Stages of Healing" program.

Stages of Healing began hosting a series of live performances in April to promote healing through the performing arts. The performances, scheduled monthly, are free and open to all patients, families and staff.

The program was also developed to promote a sense of community among patients, families and staff, said Dr. Micah Sickel, a series co-organizer.

"The mission of this hospital is to [provide] world class health care and I think we all have to be on the same page for that mission. In order to be one team, we all have to have shared experiences," said Sickel, a child psychiatrist in WRNMMC's Behavioral Health Department. "We have different cultures coming together and [these performances] build a new community. [Stages of Healing] is a place to enjoy the presence of others and the presence of the artist," he added.

Since it began earlier this year, the performances have garnered positive feedback from attendees, said Sara Barrett, a series co-organizer. Performances may feature any and all visual arts, such as music, poetry, theater, dance and spoken word, she added.

"It's an opportunity to bring everyone who's a part of this hospital together as a community and bringing [everyone] together helps to promote the healing process," said Barrett, who is also a health educator for the traumatic brain injury inpatient unit and the Resiliency and Psychological Health Service.

Sickel added, "This is a respite, a place where you can rejuvenate, gather with other people and benefit from it."

Upcoming performances include a talk by Patch Adams on Humor and Health; poetry by Linda Pastan, a former Poet Laureate of Maryland; and a performance by singer and songwriter Ted Garber.

For more news from National Naval Medical Center, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service.