The Institute Helps Artists and Musicians Access Health Care at 10th Annual O+ Festival in Kingston

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Janet Park

The Institute Helps Artists and Musicians Access Health Care at 10th Annual O+ Festival in Kingston

October 15, 2019

October 11th, 2019 marked the 10th annual O+ Festival in Kingston, NY — and the 10th year in which the Institute for Family Health has been on-hand to help artists and musicians access quality health care. Founded in 2010, O+ started as a small group of Kingston doctors, dentists and artist-activists who believed in the exchange of art and medicine. This year’s O+ Festival, which was co-sponsored by the Institute and several other community partners, served over 150 people at the weekend-long Artists’ Clinic.

Over the years, the Institute’s O+ team of medical and mental health providers has grown, so that we can help more people with wellness checks and other services. Cynthia Kim, LCSW-R, the Institute’s director of behavioral science for our Mid-Hudson Family Medicine Residency Program, noted that “Participants will seek us out after they have checked in, because they are aware of our presence and involvement in the festival and the community. We’re visible and accessible.”

Dr. Mark Josefski, a long-time supporter of O+, led the Institute’s team of medical providers, which included several family medicine residents from the Institute’s Kingston Family Health Center. At this year’s festival, the Institute also led a panel on mental health featuring Cynthia Kim and three other Institute mental health team members: Michelle Miller, LCSW; Stephanie Richers, LCSW; and Alexandra Decker, BA.

The festival continues to provide access to essential health services for Kingston artists and musicians, many of whom don’t have health insurance. Even for those who do, says Cynthia, the Institute’s presence at the festival provides an important access point. “We’re able to meet people where they’re at. We’re open door and we offer integrated services and case management in a way that most health providers don’t. We really know what our patients need in the community to thrive.”

Artists, musicians and all community members can access affordable health care throughout the year at any of the Institute’s community health centers in the Mid-Hudson Valley.