Winter Weekend teachers


Literature & Public Life

Bringing Mainers together to engage with topics that profoundly shape our communities.


Lizz Sinclair
Program Director
(207) 773-5051



Literature & Medicine partners and hospitals since 1997

Literature and Medicine map

ARIZONA: Arizona Humanities Council (Partner since 2007)

  • Banner Desert Medical Center, Mesa
  • Carl T. Hayden VA Hospital, Phoenix
  • North Country Community Health Center, Flagstaff
  • Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix
  • University of Arizona Medical Center- Family Medical Department, Tucson

CALIFORNIA: California Council for the Humanities (Partner since 2009)

  • VA Northern California Health Care System, Sacramento
  • VA Central California Healthcare System, Fresno
  • VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto

CONNECTICUT: Connecticut Humanities Council (Partner since 2005)

  • Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport
  • Danbury Hospital, Danbury
  • University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
  • University of Connecticut Medical School, Farmington

DELAWARE: Delaware Humanities Council (Partner since 2007)

  •  Christiana Care Health System, Newark
  • [Wilmington Hospital, Christiana Hospital]
  • BayHealth, Dover

FLORIDA: Florida Humanities Council (Partner since 2007)

  • Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Hollywood
  • Memorial Hospital Miramar, Miramar
  • Memorial Hospital West, Pembroke Pines
  • Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota

HAWAI’I: Hawai’i Council for the Humanities (Partner since 2007)

  • Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, Honolulu
  • Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health, Ewa Beach
  • The Queens Medical Center, Honolulu

ILLINOIS: Illinois Humanities Council (Partner since 2003)

  • Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield
  • Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital, Chicago Illinois
  • John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago
  • Kishwaukee Community Hospital, DeKalb
  • Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center, Glenview
  • Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago
  • Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

MAINE: Maine Humanities Council (Developed program in 1997)

  • Blue Hill Hospital
  • Bridgton Hospital
  • Cary Medical Center, Caribou
  • Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston
  • Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor
  • Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington
  • Frannie Peabody Center, Portland
  • HealthReach Homecare & Hospice, Waterville & Augusta
  • Inland Hospital, Waterville
  • Islands Community Medical Center, Vinalhaven
  • Henrietta D. Goodall Hospital, Sanford
  • Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Ellsworth
  • Maine General Medical Center, Augusta
  • Maine Medical Center, Portland
  • Mayo Regional Hospital, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Mercy Hospital, Portland
  • MidCoast Hospital, Brunswick
  • Mount Desert Island Hospital, Bar Harbor
  • Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport
  • Redington-Fairview General Hospital, Skowhegan
  • St. Andrew’s Hospital, Boothbay
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Bangor
  • St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Lewiston
  • Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield
  • Spring Harbor Hospital, Westbrook
  • Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford
  • Stephens Memorial Hospital, Norway
  • Sweetser Family Services, Brunswick
  • Togus VA Medical Center, Togus
  • Waldo County General Hospital, Belfast
  • York Hospital, York

MARYLAND: Maryland Humanities Council (Partner since 2005)

  • Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Howard County General Hospital, Columbia
  • Kennedy-Krieger Institute, Baltimore
  • Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore
  • Union Hospital, Elkton
  • VA Maryland Health Care System, Perry Point
  • VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore

MASSACHUSETTS: Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (Partner since 2003)

  • Baystate Health Systems
  • Baystate Medical Center, Springfield
  • Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge
  • Children’s Hospital, Boston
  • Faulkner Hospital, Boston
  • Lahey Clinic, Burlington
  • Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton
  • Northampton VA Medical Center, Leeds
  • Mass General Hospital (John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation), Boston
  • St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Boston
  • Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston
  • UMass Memorial Health Care Center and UMass Medical School, Worcester
  • VA Medical Center, Leeds

MISSOURI: Missouri Humanities Council (Partner since 2008)

  • Kansas City VA Medical Center
  • Saint Louis University Hospital Center
  • Saint Luke’s Health Care System
  • St. Louis VA Medical Center, St. Louis
  • Saint Lukes Hospital: Health Science Library, Kansas City
  • University of Missouri Health Care Center, Columbia

MONTANA: Montana Committee for the Humanities (Partner since 2005)

  • Barrett Medical Center, Dillon
  • Clark Fork Valley Hospital, Plains
  • St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center, Missoula

NEBRASKA: Nebraska Humanities Council (Partner since 2006)

  • Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha

NEVADA: Nevada Humanities (Partner since 2009)

  • Renown Regional Medical Center and the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno
  • VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, Reno
  • Williams Bee Ririe Hospital, Ely

NEW HAMPSHIRE: New Hampshire Humanities Council (Partner since 1999)

  • Avis Goodwin Community Health Care, Dover
  • Catholic Medical Center, Manchester
  • Concord Hospital, Concord
  • Cottage Hospital, Woodsville
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon
  • Home Health and Hospice Care, Merrimack
  • Innisfree Cancer Help, Concord & Laconia
  • Kendal at Hanover Retirement Community, Hanover
  • Kimball House at the Capital Center, Concord
  • Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia
  • Littleton Regional Hospital, Littleton
  • Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterborough
  • Parkland Medical Center, Derry
  • Seacoast Hospice, Exeter
  • Seacoast AIDS Response, Newington
  • Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Nashua
  • New Hampshire State Hospital, Concord

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Council for the Humanities (Partner since 2005)

  • AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Pomona
  • Atlantic City Medical Center, Atlantic City/ Pomona
  • The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick
  • Cooper University Hospital, Camden
  • Mountainside Hospital, Montclair
  • Overlook Hospital, Summit
  • The Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine at UMDNJ-NJMS, Newark
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark
  • VA Health System New Jersey, Lyons/East Orange

NEW YORK: New York Council for the Humanities (Partner since 2009)

  • Northport VA Medical Center, Northport
  • VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, Manhattan

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina Humanities Council (Partner since 2004)

  • Wesley Long Community Hospital, Greensboro
  • Durham VA Medical Center, Durham
  • Charles George VA Medical Center, Asheville
  • Randolph Hospital, Asheboro

OHIO: Ohio Humanities Council (Partner since 2008)

  • Nisonger Center at the Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus
  • Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma Humanities Council (Partner since 2011)


RHODE ISLAND: Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities (Partner since 2003)

  • Child & Family Services, Newport
  • Kent County Hospital, Warwick
  • Neighborhood Community Health Plan of Rhode Island, statewide
  • South County Hospital, Wakefield
  • Women & Infants Hospital, Providence
  • Veterans Administration Hospital, Providence

SOUTH CAROLINA: The Humanities Council of South Carolina (Partner since 2005)

  • Columbia Area Mental Health Center, Columbia
  • Mary Black Memorial Hospital, Spartanburg
  • Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston
  • Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals, Columbia
  • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
  • Veterans Administration Hospital, Charleston

SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Humanities Council (Partner since 2009)

  • Black Hills VA Medical Center, Fort Meade
  • Sioux Falls VA Medical Center, Sioux Falls

UTAH: Utah Humanities Council (Partner since 2003)

  • LDS Hospital and University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City

VERMONT: Vermont Humanities Council (Partner since 2003)

  • Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro
  • Copley Hospital, Morrisville
  • Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin
  • Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington
  • Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington
  • Gifford Medical Center, Randolph
  • Grace Cottage Hospital, Townshend
  • North Country Health System, Newport
  • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, St. Johnsbury
  • Northwestern Medical Center, St. Albans
  • Porter Medical Center, Middlebury
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center
  • Springfield Hospital
  • VA Medical and Regional Office Center, White River Junction
  • Vermont State Hospital, Waterbury

VIRGINIA: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (Partner since 2007)

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church

ARGENTINA: (Partner since 2009)

  • Clinica del Sol ­ Bazterrica, Buenos Aires
  • Clinica Santa Isabel, Buenos Aires
  • Diagnostico Medico, Buenos Aires
  • Hospital Bonorino Udaondo, Buenos Aires
  • Hospital Erill, Buenos Aires
  • Hospital General de Agudos Carlos G. Durand, Buenos Aires
  • Hospital Penna, Buenos Aires
  • Pallium Latinoamerica, Buenos Aires
  • Sanatorio de la Trinidad, Buenos Aires
  • Sanatorio San Jose, Buenos Aires
  • Universidad Abierta Interamericana, Buenos Aires


  • “My expectations for increased communications, better understanding of health care issues, need to change, creative ideas for improving care were exceeded. The participants expressed gratitude and awe for what the seminar brought to them and how the concepts discussed changed their behavior and way of thinking about others/ patients.”

    -Literature & Medicine participant

  • “This is the best team building activity we've ever done.”

    -Literature & Medicine participant

  • “These discussions have significantly reordered how I think about medicine.”

    -Literature & Medicine participant

  • “The seminars helped foster communication across the hierarchy of medical culture, which was great and much needed.”

    -Literature & Medicine participant

  • “Surgeons commune with nurses from our long-term care facility; secretaries speak with equal voice to administrators; laboratory technicians give their viewpoint to obstetricians. In short, [Literature & Medicine] has greatly improved communications among participating employees, and has also improved communications with patients.”

    -Literature & Medicine participant

  • “Both patients and providers are crying out for health care to become more humane....This project can help to restore the heart and soul of health care that so many of us believe has been weakened.”

    -Physician participant

  • “[O]ur discussions have significantly reordered how I think about medicine. I live with the experience of the protagonist in one of William Carlos Williams’ Doctor Stories, a physician who acted without listening. I do not want to be like him. I am learning to sit quietly and listen.”

    -Physician, Maine

  • “I was really burned out when I started this and I did not realize I had some of the biases that I had. And I think the readings helped me get some of those behind me a little bit. And I think I am a better nurse now...I have my patience back and tolerance and a little better understanding of some people that I probably would have judged differently before.”

    -Nurse, North Carolina

  • “Both patients and providers are crying out for health care to become more humane...[T]his project can help to restore the heart and soul of health care that so many of us believe has been weakened.”

    -Seminar participant, Maine

  • “[I joined the program because I] had been working in the ER and felt like I had lost my own humanity; I wanted to relearn how to think and talk.

    -Nurse, Vermont

  • “I am amazed by how differently we read these books. It makes me wonder how differently we hear our patients’ stories. And how our patients perceive us.”

    -Physician, Maine

  • “[The seminars are important because they get] medical providers to the table—they have so little time for thought about the humanities. We (some of us) work in a culture where emotional expression is not encouraged.”

    -Hospital Administrator, Massachusetts

  • “This year again the literature dealt with the deepest issues of the human soul across cultures. To read the prose of great writers expands and nourishes us profoundly. To have an opportunity to discuss these works with others again takes us to the limitations of our own perspective.”

    -Social Worker, Maine

  • “The program really impacted my communication [particularly] the one reading about the little girl with epilepsy and how her family didn't understand it. They were from another country. We have a lot of Spanish and...Vietnamese people around us every day and it makes me wonder now, did they understand? I have changed how I approach them and their understanding of their care.”

    -Nurse, North Carolina

  • “I now think about what people are feeling when they approach my desk, and I am more conscious of the fact that I am the first person they speak to when they come to the hospital.”

    -Hospital Receptionist, Maine

  • “I always knew my role [as a nurse] was valuable, but I think I more fully understand how far-reaching that can be. I have learned how important it is to listen to each individual, to hear what their need is and also to hear the needs of the extended family."

    -Nurse, Maine

  • “A truly remarkable experience—it feels wonderful to come back to why I was attracted to medicine in the beginning and to share dialogue with others who care.”

    -Seminar participant, Maine

  • “I think it’s valuable to have our relatively “safe” world turned upside down by really thinking about these issues that might not be part of our daily lives. Thank you for offering the program.”

    -Dietician, Massachusetts

  • “This has helped me see medical issues through other people’s eyes; it has broadened my thinking and horizons.”

    -Nurse, North Carolina

  • “The project is very valuable. I have learned so much about human frailty and how we deal with it in our structured environment. I believe that this is important to everyone. I would like to see more of this throughout our industry.”

    -Hospital Administrator, Maine

  • “The program helps me reaffirm the need to attempt to bring a supportive healing attitude to my work area.”

    -Nurse, Maine

  • “[The seminars] provide a wonderful opportunity/space to discuss attitudes, bias, assumptions, and various belief systems in a safe environment.”

    -Education Director, Maine

  • “I was really burned out and I was feeling like I was at the point of leaving oncology. And there was one story in particular [that we read in the program] about an AIDS patient and the doctor feeling like he had nothing to offer—sometimes we feel like we don’t have anything to offer. That is how I felt—I now feel connected and feel like I’m not so all alone—I really needed that. And I feel like this group has probably kept me in oncology. I have been able to share when I see others go through these burn out symptoms.”

    -Nurse, North Carolina

  • “The subject matter of the books we read, as well as the discussions that occurred, has often helped me personally in my hospital social work. Listening to other perspectives and interpretations of various topics helps be to be more empathetic to diverse points of view.”

    -Social Worker, Maine

  • “I have come to understand that my beliefs are not necessarily the beliefs of the patients. I have more empathy toward the patients and more understanding of their family members. It has helped me to be more open to other people’s viewpoints and that everyone has the right to make choices that they feel are right when it comes to their own health.”


  • “I joined this group due to burnout. Burnout is not about waiting until you feel like you can’t do your job—it’s constantly asking yourself what you are doing and feeling and helping prevent burnout from occurring by paying attention every day, not waiting until too late.”


  • “I have a greater awareness of the impact I can have [as a health care professional] and I really make sure that my patients’ needs, aside from physical, are met. I am also more aware of cultural needs and how to help patients work within their culture to meet their health care needs.”


Funded By:

The Hospice Fund and the Welch Charitable Fund

at the Maine Community Foundation

Maine Community Foundation logo

NEH logo