HEARTS Conference 2022 Speaker Bios

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

Friday, April 15, 2022 (Pacific Time)

Speaker Bios 

[See Conference Program]

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Constanza Roeder Constanza Roeder, BA, Certified in CCM, Vocal Performance
Constanza Roeder is the founder and CEO of Hearts Need Art: Creative Support for Patients and Caregivers and host of the podcast “Arts for the Health of It.” As a musician in healthcare, adolescent leukemia survivor, speaker, and thought leader, Constanza is on a mission to humanize healthcare through arts.

Ms. Roeder is the recipient of the 2018 Graceann Durr Humanitarian Award and was selected as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Visionaries by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare for 2021. She is an in-demand podcast guest, and her work has been featured in various publications such as ThriveGlobal, Authority Magazine, Ticker News, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the cover of MD News Magazine. Connect with her via www.heartsneedart.org.

Title of Presentation: Expressive Arts: Ancient Solutions for Modern Healthcare

Participants will:

  1. Examine the ethnological, psychological, and medical justifications for the arts in healthcare.
  2. Develop creative ways to “artify” their patients their peers, and themselves

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Erin BallErin Ball, Professional Circus Artist, Coach, Access Liaison
Erin Ball (she/her) identifies as a Disabled circus artist: she is a double below knee amputee and she also identifies as a Mad artist (from the Mad Pride Movement which came out of the psychiatric survivors movement). Erin is a white treaty inhabitant based in katarokwi, also known as Kingston, Ontario. She is the director of Kingston Circus Arts and is the co- founder of LEGacy Circus (a performance company co-created with Mad artist, Vanesa Furlong). Erin started circus arts in 2008, then achieved Disability in 2014, and took a year off. She has since returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing with a focus on including as many people in her audiences, as collaborators and performers in shows, as well as students in her classes. She has traveled internationally to perform and teach. She strives for representation, access and inclusion in the arts. Connect with her via kingstoncircusarts@gmail.com

Participants will:

  1. Explore the relationship between arts and creative accessibility
  2. Reframe disability in healthcare

Explore the relationship between (circus) arts and creative accessibility, as well as reframing Disability in healthcare.

Breakout Presenters

Narrative Drama

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Ellen RosenbergEllen Rosenberg, PhD, MA, MFA, Certified in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Certified Narrative Medicine (May 2022)
Ellen is a Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A member of Actor’s Equity, she has been an artist in the schools, a theatre professional, performing poet, editor, scholar and a seasoned college instructor. Specializing in creative process, her focus is exploring the stories of healthcare providers, patients, and caregivers through Narrative Medicine as Performance. She promotes the arts for human enrichment, enhancing personal identity and community connection through workshops and courses in narrative medicine, creative writing, creativity and the humanities. Connect with her at rosenberge@uncsa.edu.

Participants will:

  1. Explore three different ways of embodying a personal story.
  2. Experience introductory narrative theatre practice.


Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Uzo Nwankpa

Uzo Nwankpa, DNP(c), RN, MSN-PH
Uzo is a fourth-generation descendant of women healers from Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa, She is a first-generation immigrant to the west and dedicated to the preservation and restoration of African cultures. She is a performing artist, dance facilitator, choreographer, storyteller, educator, researcher, registered nurse, and proponent for healing through the use of the arts. As an advocate for communities that use the arts to heal, Uzo is dedicated to creating and exploring diverse ways to combine ancient practices with innovation. For more information visit www.theuzo.com.

Participants will:

  1. Discover the 5-step process of creating healing space for inner equity movement
  2. Explore the different ways to engage the body and breath in movement

Music: Sound Healing/ Drumming

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker R. Consuelo InesR Consuelo Inés (Inez), BA
Inez is an intuitive energy medicine practitioner, certified sound healer, ayurvedic and healing touch therapist. She is a trained herbal medicine-woman, mindfulness meditation teacher and hypnotherapy guide. She specializes in pain management for cancer clients and women’s health, with a focus on trauma, stress, anxiety and physical and emotional pain. Her energy medicine opens pathways for sacred touch, acupressure, therapeutic detox-bodywork, meditation, breath, and spiritual journeying to alleviate and release emotional trauma, spiritual, and physical burdens, while restoring soul integrity.

Inez has a private healing practice in Oakland, CA – leads sound healing mediation classes, facilitates healing circles, workshops and retreats for business, hospitals, universities, and nonprofits. Connect with her at Inez Healing Arts.

Participants will:

  1. Explore body somatic connection through sound and voice expression
  2. 2Create sound and music to restore personal balance and energy

Book Making/ Biozines in Healthcare

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Darian Goldin StahlDarian Goldin Stahl, PhD, MFA, BFA
Dr. Stahl is an interdisciplinary printmaker, bookmaker, and health humanities scholar. Dr. Stahl is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Northern British Columbia’s Northern Medical Program. Her project, Embodied Books, facilitates the creation of artists’ books by diverse patient groups, with the aim of forming a pedagogical archive of primary resources on the topics of health and illness. She received her PhD in Humanities on the topic of artists’ books on illness from Concordia University in Montreal and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta. Dr. Stahl exhibits her artwork internationally, including solo and small group exhibitions at C.C. Cazona in Santander, Spain; Alberta Printmakers in Calgary, Canada; and the Medical Museum of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, USA. All of Darian’s artist’s books were acquired by the Wellcome Collection Trust in London in 2019, where they continue to evoke health discourses with public audiences. Please visit her website to learn more: www.dariangoldinstahl.com.

Participants will:

  1. Create a small book to archive their responses on what it means to live well within imperfect bodies
  2. Examine multi-sensory methods of conveying lived experiences of illness within bookmaking practices

Note: Participants will need to bring a sheet of printer paper, scissors, and a pen to tis workshop.

Creating Art (using found objects)

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Erica CurtisErica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC
Erica is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist with a private practice in Southern California. She is an award-winning author of “the Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art.” Erica has been cited in over 100 media outlets. Her new book on social-emotional art activities for kids comes out Summer 2022. For more information visit: www.TherapyWithErica.com

Participants will:

  1.  Describe how art making is uniquely suited for regulating emotions.
  2. Implement at least three different arts-based strategies to help themselves and others feel more calm and connected.

Narrative Medicine/Health

Photo: 2022 HEARTS conference speaker Derek McCrackenDerek McCracken, MS, MA
Derek McCracken is a lecturer in Narrative Medicine Pedagogy at Columbia University in New York, where he also serves as the faculty advisor for the Social Justice in Narrative Medicine initiative. The team’s most recent project, Activating Racial Justice Through Narrative Negotiation, is an interdisciplinary project sponsored by the Columbia Provost Seed Grant Anti-Racism Initiative. Derek’s extensive training and development background spans corporate communications (H & R Block), creative product development (Hallmark Cards), and arts journalism (Broadway World). As a narrative health educator, he strives to achieve health justice by designing patient-centric narrative programs grounded in the medical

humanities. He is a board member of Say-Ah!, a New York-based health literacy nonprofit, and a member of the Intellus Worldwide Clear Health Communications task force. Connect with him via https://www.linkedin.com/in/derekmccracken
Workshop Title: Inside Out: The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Participants will:

  1. Closely read and discuss a creative text to explore attention, representation, and affiliation
  2. Write to a prompt to practice radical listening and narrative humility