According to the Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report of the World Health Organization, scientific evidence shows that arts can be used as a way to promote good health and prevent diseases, but also as effective treatments and ways of managing certain health conditions. In light of this, an increasing number of European governments are introducing policies to support and encourage the use of culture as medicine.
Join Swiss and US specialists as they discuss the use of arts and culture as medicine and the state of policy and research in the field. How can we foster the arts as a means of treatment? What measures are already in place in Switzerland and in the US to facilitate it? What hurdles do such policies face? And how can we enhance international collaboration on these topics? Join the discussion to learn more about these questions.
A networking reception will follow the discussion.
- 5:15pm – Doors open
- 5:30pm – Opening remarks and introduction of panel
- 5:40pm – Moderator led panel discussion
- 6:30pm – Q&A session
- 6:45pm – Networking
- 8:00pm – End of event, doors close
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Silvia MisitiMD PhD, Director of IBSA Foundation of scientific research and Head of Corporate Communication & CSR at IBSA
Silvia Misiti, MD PhD, started her career in 2001 as an Assistant Professor in Endocrinology at Sapienza University of Rome. In 2012 she moved to Lugano, where she directs IBSA Foundation for scientific research, a non-profit organization created by the pharmaceutical company IBSA Institut Biochimique SA. Her mission is to combine the passion for scientific research with the promotion of multiple activities always focused on innovation, education, and dissemination, through close contacts with the cultural and academic institutions, to keep a wide look on what research offers us today to overcome the frontier of knowledge. She currently is also Head of Corporate Communication & CSR at IBSA
Justin PasquarielloExecutive Director of the East Boston Social Centers
Justin Pasquariello is Executive Director of the East Boston Social Centers, a 100-year old organization dedicated to cultivating community, belonging and joy for people of all ages. The Social Centers reaches thousands of people each year with everything from Welcome Baby Visits and Early Learning to Older Adult Programs. They are working to help all East Boston children enter Kindergarten ready to learn, joyful, and thriving; and to pilot a vision of all children having access to high-quality, affordable early education and care taught by equitably paid teachers. Justin joined in May 2017 with a vision to make East Boston the world’s most joyful place. In 2016, he received a Nantucket Project Fellowship to focus on related work. Justin serves on the board of Silver Lining Mentoring, a Boston-based organization he founded that empowers foster youth to flourish through committed mentoring relationships and the development of life skills. Before joining the Social Centers, Justin was Executive Director of Children’s HealthWatch, a data collection, research and policy center with the mission to improve the health and development of young children by informing policies to address and alleviate economic hardships (hunger, unstable housing, etc.).
Luigi Di CoratoDirector of the Cultural Division of the city of Lugano
Luigi Maria Di Corato graduated with honors in art history from the University of Siena. He continued his education with a master’s degree in Business Administration at the MIP Politecnico di Milano and a postgraduate course in Management and Economics of Culture at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. He gained field experience in the management of major cultural projects, worked in international organizations, and directed important institutions characterized by public-private collaboration, such as Forte di Bard in Valle d’Aosta (from 2005 to 2006), Museo e Tesoro del Duomo di Monza (from 2007 to 2009), Fondazione Musei Senesi (from 2009 to 2014) and Fondazione Brescia Musei (from 2014 to 2018).
From 2003 to 2018, he was university lecturer in cultural management at the Faculty of Economics of the Catholic University in Milan; from 2017 to 2018, he was Chairman of the Strategic Plan Committee of ICOM, the international association of museums based in Paris. Since 2018 he has been Director of Cultural Affairs of the City of Lugano.
Krina PatelDirector of Community Joy at the East Boston Social Centers
Patel is an artist and interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of cognition, creativity and inclusion. Dr. Patel’s current work in better understanding the science of joy in community builds on her doctoral research in cognition, embodiment and skilled manual work, completed at Harvard University. Krina bridges theory and practice in her current role as the first Director of Community Joy at the East Boston Social Centers, a non profit organization serving the East Boston community. In this capacity Krina engages with colleagues, community partners and the larger community in designing and implementing initiatives and practical ways of nurturing and supporting joy and well being in the community. Inviting fellow researchers into the process, Dr. Patel studies and tracks the impact of this work on individuals and the community as a whole through participatory research. Krina who began her career in India working in the arts and disabilities continues her commitment by supporting a center for training disabled youth in skilled artisanal work and expanding economic opportunities with marginalized communities in India. Dr. Patel consults internationally in the areas of education, technology and the arts. Inspired by her academic mentor Mary Catherine Bateson, author of ‘Composing a Life,’ Krina believes that joy is the art of composing a life.
Kasisomayajula “Vish” ViswanathProfessor of Health Communication and Director of Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. K. “Vish” Viswanath is Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is also the Director of Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, Harvard Chan. Other additional administrative and scientific leadership positions held by Dr. Viswanath include Faculty Director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), Director of the Center for Translational Communication Science, DFCI, and Director, Harvard Chan, India Research Center. He is the founding Director of DF/HCC’s Enhancing Communications for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Laboratory.
Dr. Viswanath’s work is driven by two fundamental concerns: (a) how to center equity in drawing on translational communication science to promote health and well-being for ALL population groups, and (b) to involve community-based organizations and stakeholders in promoting social change.
The ultimate goal of the program of research is to influence public health policy and practice through knowledge translation. His work draws from literatures in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences.
His work so far has documented the relationship between communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation to address health disparities. He has written more than 300 journal articles and book chapters concerning communication inequalities and health disparities, knowledge translation, public health communication campaigns, e-health and digital divide, public health preparedness and the delivery of health communication interventions to underserved populations. He is the Co-Editor of four books and monographs: Mass Media, Social Control and Social Change (Iowa State University Press, 1999), Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research & Practice, 5th Ed. (Jossey Bass, 2015), The Role of Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use (National Cancer Institute, 2008) and A Socioecological Approach to Addressing Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (National Cancer Institute, 2017) and a co-author of The First 1000 Days of Life: Lessons from Social and Behavior Change Communication. He was also the Editor of the Social and Behavioral Research section of the 12-volume International Encyclopedia of Communication (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)
In recognition of his academic and professional achievements, Dr. Viswanath received several awards including the Postdoctoral Mentor of the Year Award from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award For Excellence in Tobacco Research, American Society for Preventive Oncology, the Dale Brashers Distinguished Mentorship Award, National Communication Association, Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award jointly given out by the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association, the Mayhew Derryberry Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA) for his contribution to health education research and theory, and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Alumnus of Notable Achievement, University of Minnesota. He delivered the 23rd Annual Aubrey Fisher Lecture at University of Utah in 2009, and the Bettinghaus Endowed Lecture at Michigan State University in 2023. He was elected Fellow of the International Communication Association (2011), the Society for Behavioral Medicine (2008) and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (2006).
Nathalie MinderHead of Innovation at Swissnex
As Head of Innovation, Nathalie is the lead for Swissnex’s startup and innovation programs on the East Coast. After several years in the music industry and co-founding an e-commerce startup in Sweden, Nathalie worked at STARTUP CAMPUS to inspire and support Swiss entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into businesses.
Laura MarcianoPostdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness
Laura Marciano is working as an SNSF funded Research Fellow at the Harvard Chan T.H. School of Public Health and Harvard Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness where she studies the link between digital media use and happiness in young people. She is the main investigator of the HappyB project, during which she collected data on more than 1400 Swiss adolescents over time. She is also interested in using digital technologies to improve mental well-being through AI, for which she co-founded the startup GoHeathy&Co. Her passion for fostering effective science communication translates in her collaboration with the IBSA Foundation for scientific research on different activities.
Morgane GeninAcademic Engagement Associate, Swissnex
As an Academic Engagement Associate, Morgane supports the Swissnex team in connecting the Swiss higher education ecosystem to academic partners on the East Coast. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of St. Gallen and completed an exchange semester in Singapore as part of her studies. Before joining Swissnex, she was involved in several student organizations focusing on education and international exchange. In her spare time, Morgane enjoys hiking, traveling around, and trying new food.
Arts as Medicine: Where Do We Go From Here? is a collaboration between Swissnex in Boston and the Swiss-based IBSA Foundation, which follows a vision of “going beyond treatment” and whose mission is to promote a scientific culture which is both authoritative and accessible. We thank the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the East Boston Social Centers for their contribution to this event.