Mercy Offers Musical Moments as Part of Patient Experience

Mar 27, 2014

Mercy Offers Musical Moments as Part of Patient Experience

Topic: ArtsinStark Grant Funds Collaboration Between Mercy and Canton Symphony Orchestra on 24 concerts in public and patient care areas of the medical center | Contact: Cindy Hickey

Canton, Ohio: To enhance the patient experience at Mercy Medical Center, the hospital is partnering with the Canton Symphony Orchestra on Musical Moments, an initiative that brings music into the health care setting to promote healing, tranquility and overall wellbeing.

The program is funded through an ArtsinStark grant and is the first of its kind in the Stark County area. Musical Moments will feature a series of 24 unique and stylistically tailored performances, each 45 minutes in length, by orchestra musicians in the hospital’s public and patient care areas.

The first performance – featuring a trio of flute, cello and viola – was held yesterday in the hospital’s main lobby. Afterwards, the musicians played Canton Mercy CEO dancing at Musical Moments Premier with Canton Symphony Orchestraindividually in Mercy’s ICU, surgery center waiting area and on a medical/surgical patient care unit. (Watch a short video of yesterday's performance.)

Lisa Boyer, director of education and community engagement for the Canton Symphony Orchestra, says the musicians are very enthusiastic about the Musical Moments program.

“This initiative is important to everyone – our musicians, the hospital, the patients and our community,” she says. “In collaborating on this ArtsinStark grant, both Mercy and the symphony brought strength to the concept. It’s a true partnership.”

According to recent studies, listening to music:

  • Reduces pain, anxiety, stress, blood pressure and heart rate
  • Promotes relaxation and comfort
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Assists in rehabilitation
  • Speeds recovery time

Helen Raub, assistant chief nursing officer at Mercy, believes music plays an important role in overall health.

“Listening to music engages people on many levels – mentally, emotionally and even spiritually,” says Raub. “At Mercy, we are dedicated to caring for the whole person and to promoting total healing whenever possible. Bringing music into the hospital is the perfect complement to our mission. Our hope is that it will create a more peaceful environment at Mercy and touch our patients, their families, our visitors and the greater Stark County community in a positive, uplifting way."

The intended outcomes of the program include:

  • Improved patient experience for Mercy patients, visitors and staff.
  • Community benefit through expansion of the total healing environment at the medical center.
  • Increased awareness of and education about the power of music.
  • Community exposure to the beauty of classical music.

Performance locations will include the hospital lobby, cafeteria, surgery waiting area, medical/surgical patient care areas, rehabilitation unit, oncology clinic, and the breast cancer support group. To gauge success, surveys will be collected from patients, family members, staff and musicians throughout the duration of this program.

Concerts will continue throughout 2014, and free CDs that contain selections similar to Musical Moments concerts will be available for patients, family members and visitors. More information about Musical Moments is available at cantonmercy.org/musical-moments.

To learn more about Mercy, visit our About Us page.

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Photo caption 1: Mercy's first Musical Moments concert consisted of a trio from the Canton Symphony Orchestra, including Katie DeJongh on flute, Mike Koscso on cello and Laura Poper on viola.

Photo caption 2: Tom Cecconi, Mercy president and CEO, dances with Mary Walter, an 84-year-old former opera singer at La Petite in Canton. Walter and Cecconi were acquaited through work at the former Doctors Hospital in Massillon.

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