Mosaics, watercolors, chalk drawings and other original works of art by a group of unlikely artists will be on display during the Brookside Art Annual April 29 - May 1, 2016 in Kansas City, Mo. Active military personnel and veterans suffering from PTSD and other behavioral health issues who have gone through Research Psychiatric Center’s unique 28-day inpatient STAR (Stress, Trauma, Addictions and Recovery) Program participate in a clinical art therapy component, which offers creative therapeutic opportunities.

More than 20 pieces of art will be available for public viewing in the Research Medical Center booth at the popular Brookside Art Annual, along with representatives from the STAR Program to answer questions.  Research Psychiatric Center is on the campus of Research Medical Center in Kansas City and is the largest provider of behavioral healthcare services in the metro and the only comprehensive inpatient facility in Kansas City.

Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—is a sponsor of the Brookside Art Annual.

David Strother is Research Psychiatric Center STAR Program Director and a former U.S. Marine deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He notes the importance of art therapy in the healing and recovery process. “Art therapy has proven to be beneficial for mind, body and soul,” he says. “We are proud to offer many resources in the STAR Program to help the people who have served our country. We’re not trying to teach art or create artists, but rather, to encourage the development of adaptive coping behaviors and responses through making art. Along the way, our patients often discover a personal talent that helps them replace maladaptive coping mechanisms with a positive outlet for feelings of pain, grief and loss.”

“Art therapy is an opportunity for these men and women to share their very unique and powerful stories and experiences,” says Jill Kernoodle, local artist and Research Psychiatric Center Expressive Therapist. “Many STAR patients are initially hesitant about the value of the art therapy—however, by the end of their stay, it often becomes their favorite tool for self-expression.”

“Determined to provide our nation’s heroes with the care they deserve, the Research Psychiatric Center STAR Program allows service members to reside on their own dedicated unit,” says Lisa St. Aubyn, Chief Executive Officer of Research Psychiatric Center. “The work David and his staff perform helps ensure a seamless transition back to duty or back into civilian life. The display of art at the Brookside Art Annual will be a potent visual of the personalized experience these men and women receive.”

“Our sponsorship of the Brookside Art Annual represents Research Medical Center’s ongoing commitment to meaningful community participation,” says Jackie DeSouza-Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer of Research Medical Center. “I can’t think of a better way to honor the community than by recognizing the artwork by men and women who serve or have served in the armed forces and are on a journey to health and well-being.”

For more information on the STAR Program and Research Psychiatric Center, visit