RENO — 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.
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.
To date, Renown Health’s Healing Arts program includes more than 800 original works of art at Renown Regional Medical Center, about 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 www.renown.org/healingarts. Donations can also be made by calling Renown Health Foundation at 982-5545.
One upcoming event includes a performance by the Reno Chamber Orchestra on 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 www.renown.org/healingarts.