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Mount Sinai Hospital raises money for music therapy

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Music can make a big difference for patients who are learning how to walk or talk for the second time, according to some doctors.

Mount Sinai Hospital is expanding its music therapy program, "Sounds of Sinai," to help patients like John Owens, who is learning to walk again after cervical nerve surgery.

"It was rough. I wasn't able to walk or move or nothing without the aid and assistant helping me," Owens said. Owens still has hard work ahead of him, but he says the music makes it easier.

"The music, it helps me block the pain out, Owens said.

"Music therapy has been shown to help in neurological recovery. In our stroke population we use it for patients who have difficulty speaking. We also use it in patients who are relearning how to walk," Dr. Robert Lee, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital.

Music therapy has been used at Mount Sinai's Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital on the city's West Side for about three years. They want to expand the program and have launched a campaign called "Sounds of Sinai" to garner support .

Celebrities and amateurs alike are invited to upload videos of themselves making music to soundsofsinai.org. The organization also accepts financial pledges on the site. Doctors say the need is critical.

"The majority of our patients are either uninsured or on Medicaid, about 60-65% of our patients that we take care of, so given the recent budget cuts and cuts to our funding, every dollar matters.," Dr. Lee said.

Funds raised through the Sounds of Sinai will not only help expand the music therapy, but could also purchase new beds or life-saving equipment.

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