Hope Torrents, museum educator and director of the fine art of healthcare program at the Lowe Art Museum, has teamed up with “Book & Books” to kick off a series of monthly book discussions about her passion: health and well-being.
Since 1999, Torrents has been sharing her knowledge on well-being at the University of Miami campus and now has the outlet to share it with the greater community.
“I became very interested and passionate about the [Fine Art of Healthcare] program,” Torrents said. “I did a lot of reading on articles and books and watched videos on how to basically navigate the healthcare system in a better way as somebody who doesn’t have any medical background.”
In 2010, Torrents’ husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, initiating her to learn about the medical system, in which she has found a lack of compassion and communication.
“It was unfortunate, but in many ways fortunate because it fed the program, me being in and out in the field and really experiencing first-hand what it’s like to be a patient advocate,” Torrents said. “We work on their [interprofessional medical students] clinical skills, so their observation and communication skills.”
Along with Torrents, Cristina Pozo-Kaderman, a clinical psychologist, will be co-facilitating the new book club.
“I think this book club will help the community by bringing up topics that usually discussed in a typical book club, such as “what is really important in your life,” or “stop and think what gives meaning in your life.”
Pozo-Kaderman specializes in psychosocial oncology in the department of psychiatry, working with cancer patients and their families for over 27 years.
“I have often suggested poems, book or articles for patients and their families to educate, help cope and/or get a better understanding of the experience they are going through,” Pozo-Kaderman said. “I supervise UM psychology doctoral students and part of the reading list also includes books that are not tradition textbooks.”
Pozo-Kaderman also supervises the Cancer Support Services Department at the Sylvester Cancer Center, which will be sponsoring the book club beginning in October.
“I have learned while building this department the very valuable role of utilizing a variety of approaches in helping patient/families cope during and after cancer to live more fulfilling lives,” Pozo said. “Friend and families also learn by watching someone they love the importance of well-being and taking care of themselves.”
Health and well-being are topics that travel beyond the walls of hospitals and into everyday lives.
“Students these days seem to be under so much stress and pressure,” Torrents said. “Just be kind to yourself. As my grandmother would say “Everything is in moderation.”
For the first meeting, Torrents will be discussing Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.”
“The really wonderful thing about this book is, as a surgeon [Dr. Gawande], he is saying ‘We can’t do everything. We can’t always fix things, but we can certainly help guide people through these really rough times and making their decisions on how they want to spend the rest of their lives,’” Torrents said.
The first meeting’s tickets are now available for $12. The following meeting’s breakfast will be free due to sponsorship by Sylvester Cancer Center. To purchase your tickets for the first event, follow the link:.
The second meeting in October will be discussing Danielle Noori’s “What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear.”
IF YOU GO:
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8-9 a.m.
WHERE: The Café at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables