Crouse Hospital is one of many across the country working to improve the experience of patients and their families. In addition to medical and quality improvement initiatives, Crouse strives to enhance patient care by creating a "healing environment," involving efforts to reduce noise and decorate the hospital's corridors with uplifting and calming works of art. Another endeavor, Crouse Serenades, brings live music to the hospital to benefit patients, families and even staff.
Musicians and vocalists come to Crouse at various times throughout the year. Yet during the holiday season, a cheerful tune or song can mean even more, especially when it's live versus a recording. "Nobody wants to be in the hospital at any time, but during the holidays, patients and families can feel especially low, thinking that the rest of the world is celebrating and making merry," says The Rev. Katherine Day, managing chaplain of Crouse Hospital's Spiritual Care Services. "Hearing someone sing or play an instrument can be the brightest spot in a patient's day."
And this is exactly what happened on Thursday, Dec. 15, when 10 members of the Mandarins, a female a capella group from Syracuse University came to Crouse and sang in many of our patient areas. They were well received by patients and staff alike, and we thank Mara Dale, Emma Fierberg, Johna Rae Kesten, Laura Leathermac, Adriana Magarino, Caitlin Mariarly, Deanna Payson, Nina Pelligra, Hannah Smith and April Woltersdorf for taking time out of their exam week to come and sing for us. We also thank 5South Unit Receptionist Thomas Tarbox for volunteering to escort the Mandarins, who've offered to return this spring to share their vocal talents.
Crouse invites local musicians and vocalists to volunteer an hour or two this holiday season and anytime in 2012. The hospital has hosted solo instrumentalists (such as violinists, guitarists, flutists – no trumpets, please!) and vocalists, plus small groups of 3 or 4 and up to 12 singers at a time. Those volunteering with Serenades meet an escort in the hospital's main lobby. After settling in, they head up to the various units to "perform" in the corridors. Oftentimes they're invited into rooms by family members or the patients themselves.
Please call Cheryl Abrams at 315/470-7123 for details about coming to Crouse to spread the joy and healing qualities of live music at the holidays — and all year through!
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