Pa. statewide partnership to provide music therapies for frontline healthcare workers

Pennsylvania Politics
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The country’s first statewide partnership using creative arts therapies to support well-being and resiliency among frontline healthcare workers was announced Thursday, June 10.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) announced the statewide partnership with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) to provide music therapy. According to the press release, many frontline healthcare workers who have been heavily involved in caring for COVID-19 patients have reported long-term exhaustion, depression and symptoms of PTSD.

“The services and therapies that will be provided through the PCA’s partnership with the HAP illustrate the creative sector’s inherent ability to develop timely, relevant and innovative solutions for a range of challenges — not just within the healthcare sector but for residents in cities and towns across our commonwealth,” Karl Blischke, executive director of PCA, said.

Music therapy has been proven to be an effective tool for healthcare workers experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout. According to the press release, it can promote positive changes in mood, increase a sense of control, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, relax muscle tension and build resiliency.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presented unforeseen and compounded challenges for the frontline health care workers who gave so selflessly to the patients they served,” Any Carter, president and CEO of HAP, said. “This innovative partnership will help us care for our caregivers in new ways, supporting their resilience and well-being through the healing power of music.”

HAP will serve as the lead facilitator with a pilot program for healthcare workers in the southeast region of the commonwealth to kick off the initial phase of this initiative. The PA Music Therapy Task Force will support the efforts and take on the process of applications as the initiative grows.

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