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Butler VA Health Care adds art to its doctor bag

Veteran Allison Smith works on her creation during a ceramics class at Steele’s Brushes and Ceramics, which often hosts workshops for veterans at its location at 1631 N. Main St. Ext. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It’s not just the body, but the spirit and soul of veterans that need tending, according to Karen Dunn, the health promotion & disease prevention program manager, as well as the patient-centered care coordinator at the Butler VA Health Care System, 353 N. Duffy Road.

Accordingly, Dunn said the center created a whole health program, which combines physical health and wellness with personal development and a chance to be creative.

Dunn said avenues available for veterans to be creative could include music, storytelling, gardening and even cooking.

There is even a monthly wellness option called DrumFIT, a customizable music, motion and memory program suitable to veterans with a wide range of ability levels. By varying the intensity, DrumFIT allows everyone access to the benefits of its unique cardio program.

“We have drumming for veterans, guitars for veterans,” said Dunn. “It’s well known that music can change moods.” Music has proven beneficial in relieving PTSD, anxiety and the grief arising from war injuries.

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