Ohio University

Healthy Village

The Healthy Village

The Healthy Village

Immersive Healthcare Theater

The Healthy Village is a new multi-media pedagogy providing healthcare professionals with skills in real-time problem solving, interprofessional communication, and patient advocacy. It combines the following arts-based modalities:

  1. Theater: improvisation, role playing, embodiment, bearing witness, ethics of listening
  2. Storytelling: long-form narrative, oral history, biography, close reading
  3. Visual thinking: observation, photography, drawing, diagramming, mapping

The Healthy Village immerses students within an imagined town peopled with an interconnected cast of characters, set in a variety of locations, and defined by deeply entrenched local histories. Through live theater, visual and audio media, virtual reality, and other interactive learning situations, students gain experience working with a diverse patient population.

This place-based, immersive approach to public health allows students to witness first-hand the implications of systemic injustice and health inequities. The resulting learning experiences help healthcare professionals learn how to hold space for empathy, ambiguity, and reflection in their work.

Project Lead

Merri Biechler, School of Theater

Project Partners

  • College of Health Sciences and Professions
  • Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Patton College of Education
  • Kennedy Museum of Art
  • Game Research and Immersive Design Lab

Funding Sources

  • 1804 Fund, Office of Research and Creative Activity, Ohio University
  • Academic Innovation Accelerator, Office of Instructional Innovation, Ohio University
  • College of Health Sciences and Professions, Ohio University