Paintbrush Prescriptions


For over a decade, our uniqe pioneering Healing Arts Program has been changing lives for the better for patients, families and community members. 

St. Paul’s Hospital’s Healing Arts program has been a part of the Hospital since 2005. This program has grown exponentially over the past several years, positively impacting more patients, families, and community members every year. The program allows healing beyond the physical well-being of a person and reaches out to heal individuals emotionally and spiritually as well. Its presence embodies St. Paul’s Hospital’s physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of holistic care that have been valued at our hospital for over 100 years.

Patient and Family Care 

Through the Healing Arts program, the creative arts are used to enhance the wellbeing of patients, families, caregivers, and the community. The program builds positive collaborative partnerships in the community, allowing participants in our neighborhood to not only feel a connection to St. Paul’s Hospital, but also build self-esteem and transferable skills.

All forms of art and music are offered either by the bedside or in a common area like the Healing Arts Studio - where all are welcome to participate or simply enjoy the process and expression of art. Evidence of the Healing Arts program is beautifully featured in display cases, on the walls, and on ceiling tiles in St. Paul’s Hospital, creating moments
of reflection and relief for patients and family members who may be facing a difficult time.

A Healthy Community Through the Arts! 

The Healing Arts Program also benefits the community through community engaged art programming. Outreach activities extent the program beyond the walls of St. Paul’s Hospital through positive, collaborative relationships with community organizations. These relationships contribute positively to maintaining or enhancing individual and community health and wellness. With a special focus on youth-with-potential, the marginalized and vulnerable populations, these partnerships encourage our community to heal, feel empowered and develop skills while engaging them with our Hospital. Promoting improved health while addressing the individual, social and environmental needs of individuals is fundamental to the care offered through our Healing Arts Program. Some of the community groups involved are OASIS (Mental Health & Addictions; Westside Community Clinic, Kids First); Core Neighborhood Youth Co-Op; LITE Program (Learning Inter-culturalism Through Employment); Fire Within (Mental Health & Addictions, Westside Community Clinic, FASD); and Metastatic Cancer Clinic Support Group.

Training and Research

Because St. Paul’s is an acute care teaching Hospital, a number of training opportunities have been developed to ensure that the knowledge we have gained in the hospital is passed on to future generations. Research programs are underway to help us better understand the positive effects of the healing arts on patients care, and continue to improve our program.

The Healing Arts team advances a deeper understanding of health, illness, and arts by presenting and offering regularly educational workshops, training and mentorship opportunities for healthcare workers and university students, in the area of arts, health and humanities. Artist-in-Residence Marlessa Wesolowski is currently working alongside principle researcher and author Christopher Cooper (Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Anil Sharma (Otolaryngologist, Department of Surgery) to develop a research manuscript “Supported Creativity with Hospital Patients—Healing Arts Program at St. Paul’s Hospital”. With this research project they are preparing a highly controlled research model which will carefully and objectively measure the impact of art-based activities on head and neck cancer patients who undergo surgery.

Staffing and Administration

The Healing Arts program is a collaborative partnership through St. Paul’s Hospital Mission Office with support from Volunteer Workforce. It provides a safe space where patients and families can express themselves and create meaning through visual art, music therapy, and literary art. The talented Healing Arts team consists of Artist-in-Residence Marlessa Wesolowski, Music Therapist Lisa Wutch, Wrriter-in-Residence Kristine Scarrow and a host of dedicated volunteers.  Volunteers are secured through Volunteer Workforce. The program often attracts  University students whot are interested in the arts and also in pursuing careers in healthcare. Volunteers receive a first-hand look at how the Healing Arts program can positively change someone’s life, while also gaining experiences, relationships, and knowledge that they will carry forward into their career. 

St. Paul’s Hospital’s Healing Arts program and its accomplishments are made possible by the generous support of donors, including Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation. We are very grateful.

Learn more about the Mission Office, the Healing Arts Program, or visit the The Healing Arts Online Gallery today. 

To support this program, donate online now or contact the SPH Foundation Major Gifts Officer at 306-655-5829 or