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MVNU taking Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program to The Laurels of Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The Mount Vernon Nazarene University Speech Language Pathology and Audiology program is excited to announce a new partnership with Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center that will integrate art therapy sessions for people living with dementia at a local skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.

The Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, developed at MU’s Scripps Gerontology Center, will provide opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders at The Laurels of Mount Vernon. OMA sessions at The Laurels will be led by a trained facilitator and each resident will be paired with a trained MVNU volunteer.

“We believe this partnership can give our students unique experiences to enhance their clinical training. In addition, the program provides an opportunity to give back to the Mount Vernon community,” said Dr. Carol Dorough, Dean of MVNU’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The partnership began when Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, the founder and director of MU’s OMA program, approached the MVNU SLPA program, formerly known as Communications Sciences and Disorders, in the Spring of 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 delayed the execution of the program until this year. Nearly two years later, MVNU is excited to see the program launch this spring.

“I am an avid proponent of incorporating arts, music, or visual arts into therapy and intervention,” said Prof. Florence Hardjono, Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Program Director. “Research shows this program improves the well-being of residents in the program. In addition, this opportunity also gives our students opportunities to learn about aging, dementia, and how to engage and work with the geriatric population.”

To learn more about MVNU’s Speech Language Pathology and Audiology program, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.