Linh Dang is the current senior director of the NYC Health + Hospitals Arts in Medicine program. Before she moved to New York City, she served as the program manager of Arts in Medicine at Stanford Health Care for 12 years. She is also an alum of the Online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine program. Graduating from college with a major in advertising and a minor in studio art, Dang once worked for the in-house advertising agency of The Walt Disney Company, and soon she stepped into the high tech industry in Silicon Valley. We talked to Dang to find out about her arts in health journey.
What do you do in your role at NYC Health + Hospitals?
I lead the Arts in Medicine program. Half of it is to handle the art collection for all 16 hospitals and 70 clinics, and the other half is to implement new arts in health programs to help improve the patient experience and staff engagement.
How did you become interested in the field of arts in health?
I was managing the art collection for Stanford, but during that time, arts in health started to become very important as well. Then I took on half of the time to handle the arts in health, so it evolved kinda organically, I would say.
What was your experience with the UF Center for Arts in Medicine like?
It was grueling because I was working full time, but I loved it because there were so many “aha moments.” Learning the history, what other people are doing and how it’s affecting people was so exciting. Being able to have that under my belt helped me to be more confident. I was able to get a $30,000 raise at Stanford with the help of that certificate.
How did the Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine impact your career in New York City?
Because of what I learned at UF, I was able to share it passionately during the interview and got the interviewers from the executive board all excited to the point where right after the interview, they offered me the job, even though they had been interviewing for six months. Eventually, I would like to be able to go back and finish the master’s degree.
What advice would you give to incoming students considering online graduate education in arts in medicine?
It really truly does make you feel more confident in yourself, and the information that you get is so rich that it really opens your eyes and lets you see how powerful it is to offer art at different facilities to patients and staff. You can just do so much. It doesn’t have to be in the health facility; it could be anywhere.
What do you envision for arts in health in the next decade?
I’m thinking that arts in health will also affect the visual of the facility itself. Just looking at color makes people happy; looking at art for about 10 to 15 minutes also helps lower blood pressure. So, I think, for me, we would expand more than just offering the arts program but rather using it on the walls at facilities as well. It would be great if arts in health programs have a Ph.D. program and are able to use arts in health with data and collect evidence-based research.
Click here to learn more about the Center for Arts in Medicine's academic, professional development, and community engagement programs.