Amy Mattingly, M.Ed., LPATA, is a community health worker and art therapist at UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Trauma Institute.
Amy started with UofL Health as an art therapy intern in August 2021. She completed her master’s level internship with the Trauma Institute in April 2022 and was hired as an art therapist at UofL Health – Peace Hospital in the summer of 2022. Amy transferred back to the Trauma Institute in May 2023.
As a community health worker, Amy provides support and resources to victims of interpersonal violence, working as a hospital-based interventionalist aiming to intervene in the critical time after a shooting or stabbing occurs. As a licensed art therapist, she provides bedside therapeutic support to patients admitted to UofL Hospital, including those experiencing a life-changing injury, patients who have complex or prolonged illness, and patients who are at the end of their life. Amy also supports patients’ families and support systems in her role.
“Art therapy is a great option for supporting the patients at UofL Hospital as it can benefit a widely diverse set of patients and presenting issues,” she said. “Art therapy can be adapted to meet patients where they are. It can be done even if the patient is unable to use their arms. Sometimes words are not enough to express our inner worlds. Art therapy is there when words fail us, as they often do in acutely stressful circumstances like after a traumatic injury or major medical event.”
Amy’s favorite thing about UofL Health is the sheer number of opportunities available to make an impact.
“I’m constantly challenged to better myself and grow as a provider,” she said. “I also love that the Trauma Institute allows me to serve populations that are in great need of advocacy and support.”
As the only art therapist at UofL Hospital, Amy also acts as a program developer and works hard to build art therapy as a service to patients. She collects data and engages staff and patients to help build support for a full-time art therapy position to one day be created. Amy’s goal for UofL Health is to build an art therapy program that provides holistic, patient-centered and trauma-informed care to patients.
“I feel it is important to recognize the impact medical events can have on all domains of life,” she said. “As a health care institution, we have the opportunity to take our understanding of the interconnectedness of physical and mental well-being and utilize therapeutic supports such as art therapy to aid our patients in making the best possible recovery.”
Amy’s hometown is Strongsville, Ohio. She knew she wanted to become an art therapist since she was 13 years old. She earned her bachelor of arts from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and her master of education from University of Louisville.
Amy’s favorite books are poetry collections by Tony Hoagland.
“His style is both beautiful and brutal,” she said. “He fought cancer and some of his writing reflects the complexities of living with chronic health issues.
Some of Amy’s hobbies include crocheting, watercolor painting and sewing.
“I really enjoy creating paintings of people’s pets,” she said. “I painted a portrait of the Trauma Institute’s facility dog Roo. I’m currently teaching myself to sew and working on making my first quilt.”
Amy’s mother played a big role in supporting Amy’s interest in art when she was growing up.
“She would always say, ‘There is no right or wrong way to make art,’” Amy said. “This statement has helped to build me as an art therapist and continues to inform my practice every day.”
Amy is passionate about social justice, human rights protections and improving mental health access for marginalized individuals.
If you see Amy, be sure to ask her about “Bob’s Burgers,” including her tattoo inspired from the show. She would love to get to know you!