THE DÉNIA HOSPITAL: A DIFFERENT KIND OF HEALTHCARE CENTRE
DKV aims to provide value, quality, innovation, and experience in the provision of public healthcare. In 2005, the government of Valencia awarded DKV the public contract for management of the community’s Healthcare District 13. To this end, the company Marina Salud was created, with a 65% share controlled by DKV and 35% by Ribera Salud, from the Bancaja-CAM Financial Corporation.
This is how Alicante came to be home to the Dénia Hospital, a 42,500 m2 facility with more than 158,000 users (and twice that number in the summer), and based on an innovative per capita insurance formula.
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The Marina Salud company has promoted a new concept of hospital; the centre’s motto is “Taking care of you while making our hospital a more human place”. It is Spain’s first hospital to integrate various activities that focus on improving and humanizing hospital stays and the quality of the care provided.
From the design of the building, which is full of natural light to create a more pleasant environment, to the incorporation of new technologies, to constant expansion of the range of services and specializations offered (many previously non-existent in the region), the unifying goal has been providing patients with best medical attention available. One of the most noteworthy features of the project is the degree of innovation that the hospital – one of Spain’s most groundbreaking initiatives – has employed.
DKV Medical Insurance has promoted a pioneering initiative at the Dénia Hospital, with the objective of demonstrating how art can contribute to improvements in health and well-being. This includes a project that puts forth a new vision of the therapeutic value of art: “cuidArt”, the influence of art on health.
Art as a means of therapy is the theme being pursued by the Dénia Hospital in the development of ciudArt, a pioneering initiative in Spain based on five innovative artistic projects. In order to improve health and make this healthcare centre a more human type of space, work on this project began in tandem with the construction of the Dénia Hospital building. The project has relied upon DKV Medical Insurance as a main driving force from the very beginning.
Furthermore, in order to develop these various initiatives, DKV and the Dénia Hospital have worked together with the Institute for Art and the Environment of the Universitat Politècnica de València, while relying upon the support of an Advisory Committee made up of renowned specialists in the art world. Numerous artists, gallery owners, foundations, and museum directors and managers have also supported the development of this project from the beginning.
So, with the Dénia Hospital serving as the canvas, the ciudArt project incorporates a variety of artistic disciplines grouped into five large installations, always oriented towards improvements in health and well-being:
- The DKV Collection: Art and Health for a healthier and more human hospital:On temporary loan from DKV to the hospital, this collection features 28 pictorial and photographic works created from the 1990s until today by renowned artists from the Valencian Community. All these works share a common denominator: humanizing the environment of the Dénia Hospital, and exerting a positive influence on the well-being of its patients and visitors.
- Sculpture: Harmonization of the space and its poetics: This is a sculpture project developed in collaboration with the Research Centre for Art and the Environment at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). This initiative has arisen conceptually from the integration of art and construction, with the goal of harmonizing architectural structures in order to create meaningful spaces. This sculpture project’s ambition is not only to create beautiful objects, but also to construct works that give feeling to a moment experienced within the hospital. The formal and expressive resources created for cuidArt emanate from the uniquely poetic approaches of the artists. So, these works tend to be oriented in many cases toward the open communication of feelings, presenting opportunities for ever-changing interpretation.
- Urban Art, an ideal design for paediatrics: This mural installation is the work of a renowned Valencian urban art collective (Xlf Crew) and is the artistic manifestation chosen for all of the hospital areas belonging to the paediatrics unit. This initiative represents the third pillar of the ciudArt project, which has been developed as a joint effort between the hospital and the UPV’s Centre for Art and the Environment. In its own way, this demonstration of urban art enlivens various areas, from the paediatric emergency waiting room to the children’s play room, as well as the 11 rooms dedicated to the youngest patients, with each room decorated with different pictorial themes and messages. The artists who have created this work have relied on the support of the heads of the various teams of paediatricians, who have collaborated in defining the contents of the murals, which pass along messages related to the benefits of reading, sports, and healthy eating. The purpose of the work is to provide a heightened sense of comfort through the use of colours that promote relaxation and contribute to the well-being of patients, thereby enhancing their recovery. After all, it has been established that our physical and emotional well-being as humans is influenced by the colours and images that surround us.
- The ciudArt Project Exhibition Room:This exhibition room hosts an ambitious programme of artistic displays from the project’s own collections as well as other projects. Located on the hospital’s lower level, the gallery is designed to showcase the works of the 28 artists who have contributed to the DKV collection, as well as works associated with other initiatives co-produced with other galleries, universities, museums, and foundations. The exhibition room will always feature exhibitions linked to the themes of art and health. These thematically focused exhibitions will at times feature artistic collections and at other times individual artists, as is the case with the first exhibition of work by Moisés Mahiques, which will be the space’s opening exhibition. For the inauguration of the exhibition room, Moisés worked day and night painting a mural based on his own concept of illness, as if it were a parenthetical expression within our lives: PARENTHESIS (or SWEET ILLNESS).
- Collaborations, a world of possibilities at the service of art: Highlights among these collaborations include a project developed as part of the Grand Tour grant awarded by DKV’s Department of Art and Health, and directed towards final projects created by postgraduate students in the master’s of artistic production programme of the UPV’s Department of Fine Arts. At the Dénia Hospital, each year we will be able to enjoy the fruits of collaboration between our grant awardees and those from the Gdansk Academy in Poland, an initiative developed by the company Ergo Hestia, DKV Insurance’s parent corporation.
- Art workshops for patients: Research from around the world has verified that participation in artistic experiences can provide many benefits for children and adults alike, including improvements in the immunological system, self-esteem, social skills, etc. Working with each individual’s capabilities and potential is vital in allowing the body as a physical organism to respond in the most favourable manner to the vulnerable situation faced by those who find themselves in circumstances of illness. These workshops are being carried out in collaboration with theatre groups and art schools in the region of Marina Alta and other cities in the Valencian Community. This project provides art workshops for paediatric and psychiatric patients, as well as theatre workshops for paediatric, psychiatric, oncology, and haemodialysis patients. Two other programmes are also underway:
- The Live Art programme, where a variety of artists create art “live and in-person” for the hospital’s patients: temporary mural installations, painting of canvases in real time, sculptures in collaboration with the patients, and more.
- The Music Therapy programme, which takes place in the auditorium with the consent of the patients or their families. The techniques employed involve the patients and/or their families, when circumstances allow, in active, expression-based activities through the use of various sound-producing elements including musical instruments and the participants’ own voices. Receptive types of techniques are also used, where patients and family members are involved in activities based on listening to and reacting to sound-based stimuli.