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Wright Center Establishes New Post, Director of Health Humanities, to Support Physician, Learner, Employee and Patient Wellness


Scranton, Pa. (July 22, 2021) – The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education have appointed Allison LaRussa, Scranton, as Director of Health Humanities.

In this newly introduced position, LaRussa will promote emotional wellness by engaging the organizations’ physician trainees, employees, patients and community members in artistic activities. 

For patients and the general public, there will be art therapy initiatives addressing trauma and addiction as well as community art projects to help alleviate social isolation and foster connections. For health professionals, activities also will be designed to support their professional identity development and growth by providing opportunities for shared experiences, awareness, reflection and expression.

“As a valued member of our team, Allison will nurture positivity and resiliency within individuals and at the organizational level, which is particularly relevant as we collectively emerge from the pandemic experience,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, President and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education.

A special focus of LaRussa’s work will be The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s resident physicians and fellows. These trainees, like their counterparts in programs across the country, deal with the dual pressures of delivering top-notch care to patients and simultaneously completing rigorous graduate medical education requirements.

“Our art activities at The Wright Center will be designed to decrease a lot of stress and burnout,” said LaRussa. “The projects will allow people to be more mindful, to process more, so that they are better able to handle their work.”

A 2010 Marywood University graduate, LaRussa, 34, has long been active in the region’s arts scene, including First Friday Scranton.

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