Hiram College

What Makes the Center Distinctive?

Since its founding in 1990, the Center's campus-wide programming has enriched students' educational experiences and supported students' health-related collaborations with the wider community. The Center has also provided health care professionals, artists, educators, students of medicine and scholars of literature rich and diverse opportunities to explore human values in health care through the critical and creative tools of the humanities.

This Center, which generates public and professional dialogue of issues in health care and biotechnology, is distinct in numerous ways:

  • it is the only one of its kind in the country, with a clear focus on serving both baccalaureate (pre-health professions) students and extended communities.
  • it is home to the first health humanities undergraduate major in the country.
  • it was the birthplace of The Literature and Medicine Book Series published by Kent State University Press.
  • it collaborates with many health care organizations including the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, the Northeast Ohio University of Medicine, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine of Ohio University, Summa Health Systems, MetroHealth System and Coleman Professional Services.
  • it involves faculty throughout the college in courses that bridge drama, literature, music and the visual arts with health and health care issues.

The Center also presents numerous projects and functions:

  • a biennial summer symposium that brings together health care professionals, humanities scholars, creative artists and educators in a dynamic learning community.
  • visiting scholars and artists who serve both as faculty and presenters to the entire Hiram community.
  • collaborations with writers and visual and dramatic arts professionals using their talents to address ethical issues.
  • courses are offered yearly in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program, and MAIS students have chosen medical humanities as their area of concentration.

The Center is one of the cornerstones of Hiram College and a touchstone for the medical humanities.


  • To be the thought leader in medical humanities
  • To provide the next generation of healthcare professionals with an understanding of humanities issues
  • To provide humanities resources and information to healthcare educators
  • To raise the level of national discussion of issues in healthcare and biotechnology