SVMC to host expert in art and healing

Dr. Esther Sternberg

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

MANCHESTER >> Southwestern Vermont Health Care, with support from the Susan Sebastian Foundation, will host Dr. Esther Sternberg at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Arkell Pavilion on the campus of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Dr. Esther Sternberg is internationally recognized for her discoveries in mind-body science at the interface of design and health and is the nation's leading researcher on the science of place and wellbeing. She is founding director of the University of Arizona Institute on Place and Wellbeing ( and professor of medicine and research director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona at Tucson, and is the author of more than 200 scholarly articles and two popular books, including the best-selling Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Wellbeing (Harvard University Press). She has advised the American Institute of Architects, several branches of the U.S. government, Pope Benedict XVI, and was Senior Scientist and Section Chief at the National Institutes of Health 1986 – 2012.

The event coincides with an exhibit of more than 100 pieces of artwork by Vermont artists, from which 54 pieces will be selected and purchased by the Susan Sebastian Foundation for Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's inpatient rooms. The exhibit will be held 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11 and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12 at the Arkell Pavilion on the campus of the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester,

The Susan Sebastian Foundation was founded in honor of Susan Sebastian, who endured a long illness looking at the bare walls of hospital rooms. It was her wish that every hospital room in Vermont be hung with gentle, inspiring art by Vermont artists. Since Susan's death in 2009, her mother Elise Braun has worked to fulfill her daughter's wish.

The Susan Sebastian Foundation used the principles described in Dr. Esther Sternberg's book, "Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being," to guide gifts of art to Vermont hospitals. More than five years later, the Foundation has funded the purchase of art for permanent display in the patient rooms of every Vermont hospital. With their gift of art to Southwestern Vermont Health Care this summer, their mission will be complete.

Both the exhibit and Dr. Sternberg's talk are free and open to the public. Space for Dr. Sternberg's talk is limited. Reservation is required. Those interested in attending should visit to reserve a seat.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us.
We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.