photo of Karen Pence

Readout of Second Lady Karen Pence's Visit to Ascension's Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

November 15, 2017

Today, Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to Austin, Texas. There, she visited Ascension's Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas to learn more about the hospital's art therapy program. Upon arrival, the Second Lady observed an art therapy session with a six year old girl. After the art therapy observation, she toured the hospital's art gallery where they have artwork created from art therapy sessions on display. Then, Mrs. Pence participated in a discussion with an art therapist and physicians.

"The art therapy program at Ascension's Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas serves an important role in the healing process for our children," said Mrs. Pence. "I enjoyed the opportunity to observe an art therapy session and speak with an art therapist and physicians about the significance of offering art therapy as a viable option in hospitals."

"We are grateful to Mrs. Pence for raising awareness and educating the public about art therapy here at Dell Children's, throughout Ascension, and around the world," said Craig Cordola, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Texas. "Children and adults alike gain significant mental health benefits from the healing power of art, and we are proud to extend this care to our patients and their families."

To stay updated on the Second Lady's art therapy program visits and stories shared about the life changing treatment, follow the Second Lady's Blog Page. To stay updated on her events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.

About Art Therapy

Second Lady Karen Pence chose one initiative to champion, and it is art therapy. She calls her initiative, Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Professional art therapists who are experts in human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques facilitate Art therapy.For more information about the art therapy profession, visit

About the Art Therapy Program at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas

The Art Therapy program, part of Child Life Services at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, began in 2007 shortly after the hospital's doors first opened. Young patients experiencing emotional trauma and severe illness or injury are referred to a registered art therapist by physicians, nurses, child life specialists and other members of the clinical team. The patients are given the opportunity to express their feelings through visual arts – drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, and more. The artwork is used as a tool to process thoughts and feelings around hospitalization and to provide coping skills as a way to support healing and understanding. Dell Children's is the only pediatric level I trauma center in Central Texas, serving a 46-county area and beyond. Dell Children's is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Visit

Karen Pence, Readout of Second Lady Karen Pence's Visit to Ascension's Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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