Converse and Greenville Health System’s Center for Integrative Oncology & Survivorship are partnering to bring music therapy to the Upstate community. The new program at GHS was awarded funding from a national LIVESTRONG competition.
GHS was one of 13 organizations in the U.S. to each be awarded $15,600 grant monies for one year to help implement a music therapy program modeled after the nationally recognized Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program. More than 100 hospitals, cancer centers and community organizations in seven regions across the nation were selected to participate in the online voting campaign.
GHS’ Center for Integrative Oncology & Survivorship received more than 2,000 votes over the 18-day period from March 24-April 11. The GHS program, which launches in June, is expected to help up to 200 patients within the first year.
“We’re thrilled to receive such strong support,” said center manager Gina Franco, MSN, NP. “Music therapy is a welcome addition to the integrative tools at GHS’s Center for Integrative Oncology & Survivorship. What makes music therapy unique is its innate ability to bring down the walls between us. The ability to relate is that much easier with music as a medium.”
GHS will partner with Converse College’s music therapy program, which is accredited by the American Music Therapy Association and is one of only two accredited programs in South Carolina.
“Converse is pleased to expand access to music therapy services through our partnership with the Greenville Health System Cancer Center,” said Dr. Elizabeth York, director of music therapy at Converse. “Not only will patients and their families benefit, but students pursuing a degree in music therapy will have the opportunity for clinical training under the supervision of a board certified music therapist.”
Evidence-based music therapy is proven to reduce stress and pain levels associated with illness and hospitalization. For many patients, the simple act of listening to music provides a therapeutic release, promoting healing and overall wellbeing. Not only do targeted therapies decrease anxiety and pain perception, they provide avenues for patients undergoing cancer treatment to voice their concerns and connect more deeply with their loved ones.
“We are so appreciative of everyone who took action to bring the Community Impact Project to their communities,” said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG Foundation president and CEO. “The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer today, and by immediately implementing these proven programs that provide critical emotional and practical support to those facing cancer, we are helping more people live life on their own terms. We take great pride in this opportunity to advance our mission.”
The music therapy program is one of three proven cancer support programs included in the 2014 Community Impact Project selected by the LIVESTRONG Foundation, a top-rated non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by cancer.
About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS)—the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in South Carolina—is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. It’s one of 100 systems nationwide to be designated an academic health system. The 1,358-bed system offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its six medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The GHS Cancer Institute is a regional leader in cancer care, offering National Cancer Institute-approved cancer treatment and prevention trials through the Community Clinical Oncology Program. GHS also offers Phase 1 clinical trials, genetic counseling, a blood and marrow transplant program and numerous patient-specific programs, including its Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship and the Institute for Translational Oncology Research, which works with more than 50 pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners to bring molecular diagnostics and new medication trials to the community setting.
About the Converse College Music Therapy Program
The Converse College music therapy program is the only program of its kind in the Upstate region of South Carolina and is accredited by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The curriculum prepares students to meet competencies set by the AMTA for professional practice, and to sit for the national board certification examination. The program is administered through Converse’s Petrie School of Music, the nation’s only comprehensive professional school of music within a liberal arts college for women. Converse Music Therapy graduates are employed in private and group practices and with healthcare facilities across the country.
About the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program
Since its formal inception in 2002, the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program has become an essential component of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, a subsidiary of Morristown Medical Center’s integrative approach to caring for cancer patients. The Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program, one of the longest running programs of its kind in the country, has demonstrated great success in serving the people of the communities where the program is currently offered. The program’s overarching goal is to facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America’s top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency.