HEARTS Conference 2022


Samuel Merritt University’s Inaugural Health, Education, and the ARTS (HEARTS) Online Conference


Friday, April 15, 2022 9 AM - 1 PM (Pacific Time)


  • Learn about the role expressive arts plays in healthcare, wellness, and well-being for patient and individual self-care
  • Explore how the arts can mitigate burnout, reduce stress, enhance communication, promote team work, and improve wellness
  • Participate in experiential narrative arts break-out sessions
  • Hear from leaders across North America about the power, justification, research, and implementation of narrative arts

Open to the entire SMU Community: faculty, staff, students, and administration

Sponsored by the
Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) 

For information about CEUs and signing-in/out, scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Conference Program 

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM    
Dr. Celeste Villanueva

9:05 AM – 9:10 AM    
Dr. Marcus Penn

9:10 AM – 9:20 AM    
Land acknowledgement, Overview, Content Housekeeping

Dr. Alice Vestergaard

Introduction of Keynote Presenter #1
Dr. Alice Vestergaard

9:20 AM – 9:50 AM    
Keynote Presentation: 
Expressive Arts: Ancient  Solutions for Modern Healthcare

Constanza Roeder     

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM       Break

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM    Breakout Session #1*    

10:50 AM – 11:00 AM    Break

11:00 AM – 11:50 AM    Breakout Session #2*    

11:50 AM – 12:00 PM   Break

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM    
Keynote Presentation: 
Arts in Practice
(Video demonstration and dialog with the artist.)
Erin Ball     

12:45 PM – 12:55 PM    
Concluding Remarks
President Dr. Ching-Hua Wang

12:55 PM – 1:00 PM     
Wrap Up/ Acknowledgements
Dr. Celeste Villanueva  

See Speaker Bios ]

Participants will have a choice to participate in two of the 6 breakout sessions (each breakout session is offered twice.)

*All breakout sessions are experiential vs. didactic, and with a health care focus (self and patients/clients). No advance preparation required for any breakout sessions. Breakout options for participants (facilitated by experts):

  1. Narrative Drama
  2. Movement 
  3. Music: Sound Healing/Drumming 
  4. Creating Art (using found objects from the home)
  5. Narrative Medicine/Health
  6. Book Making/Biozines in Healthcare

Continuing Education Units

The HEARTS Conference is pleased to offer continuing education units to nursing and occupational therapy professionals for the keynote and workshop portions of the day. If you wish to receive CEUs for attending HEARTS, please complete the “sign in” and “sign out” surveys for your profession. Your certificates will be emailed to you within 4 weeks after the event.

Samuel Merritt University College of Nursing is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #11258 for 4.0 contact hours. 

  • The Nursing sign in and sign out  link has expired. Contact your program chair for assistance with this.

OT will receive 4.0 contact hours.

  • The OT sign in and sign out  link has expired. Contact your program chair for assistance with this.