Art in Action for Cancer Care

Arts and Healing program makes a difference for cancer patients at Inova

(Above left) Lisa Ellis, artist and loyal donor to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, stands by her quilt, Castor Bean, part of the “Healing Quilts in Medicine” exhibit and (above right) Sandi Croan, photographer, donor and grateful patient, with one of her photos, Morning Glory.    

The Arts and Healing program at Inova Schar Cancer Institute (Inova Schar) promotes the healing power of the environment on those affected by cancer, both through art installations and clinical applications. Thoughtfully selected original art can be much more than a simple distraction; it is a source of healing inspiration and hope to those facing life-changing illness. The healing arts initiative began at Inova Schar at Fair Oaks, thanks to the generous philanthropic support of Lisa and Michael Ellis and Sandi and Jerry Croan.

The goal of the Arts and Healing program is to minimize suffering and restore well-being by providing an environment that promotes healing and wellness. Art in its many forms supports those in treatment and recovery, as well as their loved ones. The Fair Oaks program is a hallmark of the flagship Inova Schar, a department of Inova Fairfax Hospital, which opened on May 13.

This innovative program has a robust permanent art collection and ongoing exhibition along with an Artist in Residence program to provide art expression throughout the facility. Together with Life with Cancer®’s Integrative Oncology program, focused on art therapy, acupuncture, nutrition, mind-body techniques and support groups, these programs truly focus on whole-person wellness for individuals, families, loved ones and the community. They reinforce Inova Schar’s core mission to provide patient-centered care and inspire and encourage all those who come through its doors.

Unmatched Support

Support from the Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (IFOH) Auxiliary is the foundation of philanthropic efforts. Most recently, funding from the IFOH Auxiliary allowed the Life with Cancer® program to continue providing Integrative Oncology and Arts and Healing programs to patients. Auxiliary members are always working on ways to improve the hospital. Recently, they played a large role in bringing the latest 3D mammography equipment to IFOH, making it a more comprehensive source of care for members of our community. “The Auxiliary has been very generous to the hospital and radiology for the past several years, and they’re amazing in their sense of commitment,” notes Stephen Hunt, Director of Diagnostic Imaging at IFOH.


  1. […] Arts & Healing Program at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, a department of Inova Fairfax Hospital, is a collaboration […]

Leave a Comment