Innovation, Research, and PRACTICE.

The Center for Art + Health Innovation (CAHI) is operationalizing ideas and strategies at the intersection of the art + health. CAHI is a strategic partnership between the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky (CIK), housed within the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, and artist-innovation group and creative placemaking pioneer, IDEAS xLab in Louisville, Kentucky.

CAHI employs a transdisciplinary perspective throughout its development, implementation, and evaluation of its work; disciplines include public health, health administration, visual arts, music, spoken word, literature, occupational science, art therapy, small business, social service, youth development, and more. CAHI thus capitalizes on the strengths and science of each discipline and of multiple community sectors in its focus on innovation in both practice and research.

CAHI vision to become a national center of excellence in both practice and research at the intersection of arts/culture, community development and population health.

CAHI leads the public health research and evaluation for Project HEAL.


Evaluation  Team

LEAD EVALUATOR: Monica Wendel, DrPH, MA, will serve as lead evaluator Project HEAL. Dr. Wendel has over 16 years of experience in applied research and community health development. She will provide scientific leadership throughout the evaluation process. Dr. Wendel brings expertise in community-based participatory research, in which researchers apply strategies to engage communities in addressing their own issues to work toward population health improvement and increased community capacity. Dr. Wendel has been the director of CIK since its inception in 2014, and has developed relationships throughout the Louisville community that bring together thought leaders, policy makers, and members of the community to discuss solutions for health disparities.   

Susan Buchino, PhD, OTR/L, will serve as evaluation team manager. She will provide project management, development of the research agenda, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of results. Dr. Buchino uses mixed method approaches to investigate population mental health and the impact of policy on health disparities. As an occupational therapist, Dr. Buchino believes in the powerful influence that participation in meaningful activity and community engagement can have on health. Her former career as an opera stage manager nurtured her appreciation for the role of arts and culture in communities and developed her skills for project management.   

Tasha Golden, M.A., is a doctoral Health and Social Justice fellow in the UofL School of Public Health. Having transitioned to public health after a 10-year career as a full-time artist-activist, Ms. Golden now researches the impact of the arts on stigma, advocacy, public discourse, and health. She will participate in data collection, data analysis, and dissemination. Her unique experience as both a professional artist and a public health researcher will provide additional insight throughout the project.