Brooklyn Boro

Music That Heals receives grant to perform at Maimonides Hospital

Organization Prepares for its 20th Annual Race Events - 5K & Half Marathon

August 11, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Music That Heals musician and singer David Diedrich plays his keytar for a hospital patient. Photo courtesy of Kathy Lord

With a roster of more than 40 professional musicians Music That Heals (MTH) is proud to be showcasing some of these talented performers at Maimonides Hospital through a grant received from the Francesco Loccisano Foundation (Frankie’s Mission), who is dedicated to helping families of children with cancer. The grant is for the Children’s Hospital at Maimonides, as well as the Pediatric Patients at Maimonides Cancer Center.

Music That Heals (MTH) is also preparing for its 20th anniversary 5K and first Half Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 24 in Prospect Park. This year will also introduce a half-marathon to help raise funds to keep the music playing.

Co-founded in 1997 by musicians Kathy Lord and Susan Weber, the nonprofit organization brings professional musicians to health care institutions throughout the tri-state area to help uplift the spirits of patients and their families.

When the organization first started, MTH planned 10 shows in its first year. Last year, the program scheduled more than 550 performances in various hospitals and health care facilities throughout the city.

Lord explained that a child life representative at the Children’s Hospital at Maimonides recommended MTH to the Loccisano Foundation, which was looking to bring music to patients at Maimonides.

“They contacted us,” said Lord. “We put together a plan and now we will be bringing a musician once a week to the pediatric unit and cancer center on the same day for next six months.”

“We are excited to work with MTH for reasons consistent with our foundation mission. Helping children and their families during their time of need while they fight pediatric cancer.” said Kevin J. Breen, board member of the Francesco Loccisano Foundation.

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The other new facility that MTH has on board is due to a grant from the May Ellen and Gerald Ritter Foundation. The grant provides for a performance a week in the lobby at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn.

“That particular foundation is one that has given us the amount of support we needed to allow us to spread our wings and grow. For this we will be forever grateful,” said Lord.

Vincent Rohan, president of the May Ellen and Gerald Ritter Foundation told the Brooklyn Eagle, “The May Ellen and Gerald Ritter Foundation is proud to be a supporter of Music That Heals in its many charitable endeavors and is impressed with its rapid growth in the past year under the leadership of Kathy Lord.”

Lord is proud of the commitment of her musicians, who see their work as much more than a job. Many of them, including talented violinist Luellen Abdoo, have often stayed beyond the allotted time to perform for certain patients and/or their family members in times of need.

MTH has a process through which they pick their musicians. “This type of musical performance is not for everyone,” said Lord. “The musicians we select have to have a heart for sharing their talents with patients in health care settings. We ask for professionalism on every level. Sensitivity to each situation is an imperative requirement as well as being on time and dressing appropriately for each performance.”

MTH’s new additions include violinist Victoria Paterson, who toured for two years with Barbra Streisand and just finished performing in “Sunset Boulevard” with Glenn Close on Broadway; Adrian DiMatteo, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music who has been working in the field of music and healing for quite some time and joined MTH in July; and acclaimed harpist Lisa Tannebaum.

All of MTH’s musicians have strong credentials such as Mark Sganga, who is an award-winning international finger-style guitarist; and Larry Eagle, one of the drummers he performs with, who toured with Bruce Springsteen.  

MTH also brings one performance a month to Kentucky’s Sansbury Care Center have been doing so for the past four years.

Along with Maimonides and NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, other borough hospitals and health care facilities MTH performs at include Brooklyn Hospital, Calvary Hospital, Coney Island Hospital, Suny Downstate Hospital Pediatrics and Suny Downstate Dialysis Center.

Lord views MTH’s first half marathon as a good way to train for the NYC marathon in November. MTH’s race events will be totally supported on the course with bottled water as well as Gatorade. There will be finish line bagels, croissants from Cousin John’s Café and Bakery and much more. A special race medal has been designed for these two events and every finisher will receive one. There will also be trophies for first, second and third place male/female finishers in both races. Last but not least, Peewee races for children, ages 2 to 12 will take place after the 5K.

To learn more about the event and the organization, visit musicthatheals.org.

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