2020 Hook Scholars

Hook Scholars, 2020

The Center for Health Humanities and Ethics 2020 Hook Scholars are Taylor Robinson, Daniel Song, and Will Wey.  Their projects for the summer of 2020 are described below.

Lena Bichell

Carried out in the Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, this project examines the role of the environment, particularly a changing climate, on human health and health care. The project will entail (1) carrying out a literature review with academic scholarship, popular media, and creative resources around the relationship between climate change and health; (2) consulting with local, regional, and national leaders in climate change-minded clinical care; (3) planning/arranging a panel discussion with subject experts, to be offered as a Medical Center Hour in academic year 2020-2021; (4) collaborating with student groups interested in climate change and health at other regional institutions; and (5) exploring how to incorporate existing learning materials on the topic into the NxGen Curriculum. More broadly and longer term, this project aims to increase current and future UVASOM students’ awareness of the evolving impact of climate change on human health and clinical care. Lena will be mentored by Marcia Childress.

Taylor Robinson

Carried out in the Center for Health Humanities and Ethics under the umbrella of the Virginia at Home program, this project aims to explore the experiences of Virginia’s home-bound patient population and their relationship with healthcare providers. The overall goal of the project is to assist in improving home-bound patients’ care through the production of an educational video for healthcare providers and students on the topic of home visits. Topics explored will include what home visits are, why they are helpful, what can be learned from them, and how to carry one out. An important facet of this project will include engaging the home-bound population in a dialogue on how providers can better utilize the home visit and cater it to their needs. Additionally, the project will explore the utility of digital video (through the use of smart phones, skype, or other) in improving communication between patients and their health care team.  Taylor will be mentored by Justin Mutter, MD.

Daniel Song

Carried out in the Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, this project, dubbed Clinician’s Ear, investigates the potentially profound impacts of close listening on the health care practitioner’s core clinical skills and on medical practice itself. Modeled on UVA’s successful Clinician’s Eye workshop that exercises young clinicians’ visual attention, Clinician’s Ear is premised on the recognition that attention to rhythms, tones, tempos, sounds of various kinds (including vocalizations), and silences is essential to clinical practice, as well as on the observation that excellent clinicians are acute, discriminating, and respectful listeners. The project’s aims are (1) to research music/medicine associations through literature review and discussions with selected experts in music and medicine at UVA and elsewhere, and (2) to preliminarily design an experiential, interactive Clinician’s Ear module that attunes and exercises learners’ abilities to attend to, analyze and respond to, and communicate about certain sounds and sound-patterns analogous to those in clinical care. Daniel will be mentored by Marcia Childress, PhD.

Will Wey

Carried out in the Center for Health Humanities and Ethics, this project entails designing, planning, and implementing a site in the University of Virginia Medical Center that will be a station for public, participatory writing, with the goal of engaging and collecting the diverse, voluntarily and anonymously offered perspectives of patients, staff, trainees, and visitors at the hospital. The resultant collection of anonymous writings will be made available to the public, in part or as a whole, both to offer windows into shared experiences of diverse participants and to inspire further writings. Analysis of the received set of writings will be expected to provide insights into the personal journeys made through the medical center and its myriad spaces, and aims to uncover the ways that various people visiting/working in the hospital weave identity and story outside and beyond their more conventional, formalized contacts within the institution and its services. Beyond its research utility, the site will provide a safe refuge for reflection in the otherwise hectic environment of the hospital. Matters to be addressed include the logistics of siting and maintaining the writing “station,” review and management of the repository of submissions, ethical and/or legal implications of this activity and its outcomes, and longer-term conservation/preservation of participants’ writings. Will will be mentored by Lois Shepherd, JD.