This month, for the fifth year in a row, Makovsky joined an amazing array of talented and accomplished individuals from the northern New Jersey community to support the Morris Arts Great Conversations Annual Gala. At each of more than 30 tables, different leaders served as fascinating dinner hosts, sharing perspectives from areas including the arts, sports, science, public service, military and industry – and, of course, healthcare.

For our Health Practice, it’s a nice opportunity to connect with representatives from Hackensack University Medical Center, Quest Diagnostics, Bayer and Pfizer, around two shared missions – patient health, and supporting the arts.

Art has a powerful role in society. Supporting artistic expression allows grantees to reach people in unprecedented ways, and elevates whole communities by improving academic performance through arts in education, promoting prosperity by bringing people together, and making a social impact. According to research by the University of Pennsylvania, a high concentration of the arts in a given region leads to higher community engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. The arts are used by the U.S. Military to promote troop force and family readiness, resilience, retention and for the successful reintegration of veterans into family and community life.

The arts can even improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff, and 78 percent of these institutions say they deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.

The arts also create impact beyond individual patients and care-facility walls; fostering community among those who share a common cause and elevating voices and dialogue around those issues. Regina Holliday’s Walking Gallery – literally, a “walking wall” of medical providers and advocates who wear patient story paintings on the backs of business suits while attending medical conferences – amplify the patient voice, and by doing so, are changing the conversation.

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They inspire us—cultivating creativity, goodness, and splendor. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. As Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? stated, “You don’t start communities. Communities already exist. They’re already doing what they want to do. The question to ask is how you can help them do that better.”

For the Makovsky Health Practice, our support of Morris Arts enables us to be part of a vibrant community and to go beyond “doing well by doing good” – by engaging in, and building up, a key component of human health that improves wellness in both the body and soul.


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