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Renown Health prescribes music, art & nature as part of the healing process



Since March, Whitney Myer, local singer/songwriter and contestant on “The Voice,” has entertained childhood patients at Renown Children’s Hospital. Myer’s involvement was made possible by a generous grant from the Nevada Arts Council[1].

The grant award will allow for four hours per week of bedside music on the Children’s Inpatient floor, Wilbur D. May PICU, Children’s Specialty Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Children’s ER.

For centuries people have believed in the healing power of music, art and nature. Recent studies show that art and natural surroundings, located in a hospital setting, not only help create a peaceful healing environment but also aid in the healing process.

Findings also reveal that patients exposed to art require fewer drugs, spend less time in the hospital and have improved mental health. In addition, nature-related images placed carefully in a hospital setting can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, stress and perceived pain. The study supports the philosophy that patients have physical and emotional needs that must be addressed as they are recuperating.

“At Renown Health we’re looking to create an environment that transcends the boundaries of traditional medicine,” said Annie Zucker, development specialist for the Healing Arts program at Renown Health. “Restoring our patients’ health means combining the best in skill, expertise and technology with extraordinary techniques.”

To date, Renown Health’s Healing Arts program includes more than 800 original works of art at Renown Regional Medical Center, approximately 400 of which are in patient rooms. The program also includes:

  • Musical performances at the patient bedside
  • Pet therapy
  • Free public orchestra and symphony performances
  • Free Theater/Play performances
  • Daily piano performances
  • “Arts4Healing” Partnership with Washoe County School District Fine Arts Department
  • Artist in Residence program for medical school students
  • Fianna’s Healing Garden and The John & Sue Dermody Children’s Healing Garden

Zucker said one of the most popular options for patients is Music at the Bedside. For more than four years, musicians have played for patients in their rooms as well as in the Tahoe Tower Lobby. Colin Ross, Renown’s musician in residence, performs at Renown Regional Medical Center, Renown Rehabilitation Facility and Renown Skilled Nursing.

In addition, Renown Health has recently introduced online giving. Community members can now donate to the Healing Arts program online by visiting renown.org/HealingArts. Donations can also be made by calling Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545.

One upcoming event includes a performance by the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Tahoe Tower Lobby from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Healing Arts program is made possible with generous gifts from the Sonia and Abraham Rochlin Foundation and other philanthropic community support.

For more information, visit renown.org/HealingArts.

About Renown Health Foundation

Renown Health Foundation, established in 1985, supports northern Nevada’s healthcare leader by raising funds to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, conduct research, offer community health programs, and provide educational training for our healthcare professionals. As the Foundation’s operating budget is underwritten by Renown Regional Medical Center, 100% of the donations go directly towards funding important programs and equipment purchases. For more information, visit renown.org/Support.

About Renown Health

For more than 150 years, Renown Health has served the healthcare needs of its community. As northern Nevada’s largest private, not-for-profit healthcare network, all of its income is reinvested into the people and services Renown provides to its community. Renown serves a 17-county region with a total population in excess of 750,000 and is comprised of two acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, a skilled-nursing facility, numerous medical group and urgent care facilities, and the region’s most trusted health insurance provider, Hometown Health. For more information, visit renown.org.

About Whitney Myer

Whitney Myer grew up in and around the mosh pits of The Mudsharks. Her unique childhood, surrounded by her musically talented father, Scott, and uncle, Fred, helped generate her own performance dreams. By 13 she was writing songs with Scott & Fred and soon after was singing in local music venues, backed by her father and uncle. Whitney has become an energetic stage and recording veteran boasting a well-developed and polished contralto that has reminded critics of the likes of Erykah Badu and Janis Joplin.

The Whitney Myer Band is based out of Reno, Nevada and is renowned for its live shows that unfailingly deliver intensity and top-quality musicianship — highlighted not only by the brothers’ combined veteran musicianship but also Whitney’s superb vocal chops and her infectious, audience-engaging stage presence. For more information, visit whitneymyerband.com

About Colin Ross

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Colin Ross plays a large and ever-shifting repertoire of original music, jazz standards and blues classics. Beginning with classical piano at the age of 5, Colin has continued to study and grow throughout his career, playing a variety of instruments and styles. While maintaining a full time performance schedule, Colin has recorded and released five CDs on his own label, Oharaross Productions. Colin’s band features piano, electric, acoustic, 12-string and slide guitars, bass, drums, percussion, vocal harmonies, winds and various folk and electronic instruments all played live. Songs, sets and arrangements change with every show. For more information, visit colinrossmusic.com

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