Take Charge

The Art of Volunteering

April 26, 2017

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Ruthie Jones-Garguilo grew up loving music and the arts. She was always listening to music and loved writing poetry. She spent her career working in business management but always felt a certain level of personal fulfillment was missing – so she decided to give back through volunteering. Moffitt found the perfect spot for Ruthie in the Arts in Medicine program, where she’s been dedicating her time as a volunteer since 2010.

The Arts in Medicine studio has been somewhat of a second home for Ruthie. "It really combines my love for the arts with the act of service. It allows you to impact someone's life on some level, and that's the best feeling," says Ruthie.

From a first glimpse, you may think the Arts in Medicine studio is just a place for arts and crafts. But it goes much deeper than that—she explains—it's a safe and stress-free environment for patients and families to unwind, express themselves, and experience a different type of healing. “We teach the patients different ways to use the arts to process things, to cope with their emotions. We like to say we're the best team short of the doctors.”

The Arts in Medicine program’s complete menu of services includes daily weekday access to the beautiful studio, private bedside visits, live musical lobby performances and special performance events. Patients, caregivers, family members and friends of patients are welcome to stop by the Arts in Medicine studio to experience the therapeutic benefits of the arts – whether that’s writing a poem, contributing to a piece of community art, making beads of hope, or just reading a book. The studio is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located on the third floor of the Muriel Rothman building.

Interested in volunteering? Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Moffitt.