Center H|H Activities

The health humanities have been part of the Center’s portfolio of national and on-campus activities for over two decades.

In 1997 the School of Medicine approved an Area of Concentration in Medical Humanities under the co-directorship of Lisa Parker, PhD and Bradley Lewis, MD, PhD, now at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and serving as associate editor for the Journal of Medical Humanities. Now called the Medical Humanities and Ethics Area of Concentration, this program for medical students is co-directed by Gaetan Sgro, MD and Andrew Thurston, MD, who also co-teach Narrative and the Experience of Illness in the School of Medicine.

In 2007, the Center collaborated with Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum to sponsor a series of events exploring the intersections of art, science, and ethics in the pursuit of perfection, in conjunction with Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, a touring exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  In 2008, the Center hosted the Pennsylvania Medical Humanities Consortium’s sixth annual meeting SEEING MAKING HEALING: Art, the Arts, and Creativity in Medicine and the Medical Humanities at the Carnegie Museum of Art in conjunction with the Carnegie International 2008.

The Consortium returned to Pittsburgh in 2012 for its tenth meeting—Under Construction: Hospitals, Healthcare, and the Medical Humanities—at the recently opened Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, named one of the twenty-five most beautiful hospitals in the world by Healthcare Business & Technology. Conference participants toured the hospital and learned about the process of designing family-friendly spaces like the four-story atrium, Healing Garden, and music therapy room, as well as the child-friendly Pediatric Radiology multisensory rooms designed to enable imaging without sedation. 

In 2019, when the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities held its 21st annual meeting in Pittsburgh, the Center hosted Museums and Medicine: Divining Warhol, Drawing, and Developing Clinical Skills, a pre-conference workshop at the Andy Warhol Museum, as well as Disability and the Future: A Conversation with Rosemarie Garland-Thomson on Conserving and Promoting Human Diversity, at the Heinz History Center.

In the Center’s fourth decade, affiliated faculty expanded health humanities programming into the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences. With support from the Provost’s Year of the Humanities initiative and the Honors College, affiliated faculty launched what is now the H|H Lecture Series and a reading group in disability studies. In development is an undergraduate Certificate in Health Humanities.  Students interested in pursuing this certificate should contact