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Pennington Foundation Gift to Support Baton Rouge General’s Arts in Medicine Program

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  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Baton Rouge General (BRG) Foundation announced a gift from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Family Foundation in support of the hospital’s Arts in Medicine (AIM) program. The $130,000 gift will significantly impact the hospital’s ability to provide innovative therapies that promote physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual health.

One of only two programs of its kind in Louisiana, BRG’s AIM program uses evidenced-based art and music activities as medicine to treat, heal, and inspire patients. Music and art therapy programs within clinical settings are proven to decrease patients’ feelings of anxiety and depression, as well as increases patients’ wellbeing. Since its inception in 2012, the program has supported more than 115,000 patients, family members and hospital staff.

“Baton Rouge General’s Arts in Medicine program leaves no stone unturned when it comes to caring for the whole patient,” said Paula Pennington de la Bretonne. “The Pennington Family Foundation is honored to support a program that will continue to impact families’ lives as they search for hope and healing through the arts.”

AIM has improved outcomes for patients across all areas of the hospital, including BRG’s Regional Burn Center, Cancer Center, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where music therapists use breath, voice and specialized instruments to recreate sounds from the womb that comfort and stimulate babies as they grow. In BRG’s outpatient pulmonary rehab program, music therapists work with patients who are struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patients learn to play a song on the harmonica to practice breathing deeply and exercising their lungs. These therapies result in improved lung function and increased health outcomes for patients. Last year, AIM teamed up with The Louisiana Arts & Science Museum and Capital Area Agency on Aging to provide “Arts on the Go” to senior adults in an 11-parish region.

“On any given day, patients, family members, and friends are touched by our Arts in Medicine program, whether it’s painting to reduce stress, singing or playing musical instruments to decrease anxiety and pain perception,” said Erik Showalter, president of BRG’s Foundation. “Now in its 11th year, we’re excited to see this program continue to thrive and grow through the support of generous supporters like the Pennington Family Foundation.”

For more information about Arts in Medicine at Baton Rouge General, call (225) 387-7040 or click here. To learn more about the BRG Foundation, click here or call (225) 763-4372.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with over 600 licensed beds between three campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General is affiliated with several medical school programs, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @BRGeneral and Instagram @batonrougegeneral.