Center for Humanities in Medicine
The Center for Humanities in Medicine supports Mayo Clinic’s primary value, the needs of the patient come first, by integrating the arts and other expressions of human culture into the healing environment.
The Center engages interconnected communities of patients, families, staff, learners, and the public to promote the artful and compassionate delivery of healthcare. Humanities in Medicine activities are open to Mayo Clinic patients, staff, visitors and community members and are made possible by the generous donations of grateful benefactors.
Haines and Colter Gauzens missed their dad. It had been more than two weeks since they'd last seen him — an eternity in kid years. "When's Dad coming home?" the 9-year-old twins kept asking their mother, Isis. "I'm not really sure," she'd tell them. "Dad is really, really sick."
Dad — Joe Gauzens — has Erdheim-Chester disease, a rare disorder that can cause a host of symptoms throughout the body. Joe's primary symptom is chronic, debilitating pain that keeps him at home most of the time. But he'd developed pneumonia, and was lying in the intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus. Isis wasn't eager to take the couple's sons to the ICU, but as the days passed she decided it was time for a visit. "I would never have let the kids into the ICU, but Joe had been there so long," she says.
Before she took Haines and Colter to visit their father, Isis wanted to prepare them for what they'd see. To do that, she decided to speak to them in a language they'd understand: Legos.