The Childlife Program at Jacobi Medical Center recently received funding from the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT to continue a special music therapy program for children in Jacobi’s pediatric in-patient and pediatric intensive care units for another year.
Founded in 1983, Starlight Children’s Foundation is an international nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.
“We are grateful for the Foundation’s generosity in continuing their support of our music therapy program,” said Carla Pratt, LCSW, Jacobi’s Childlife director. “The program provides our patients with a safe and creative platform to express their feelings associated with hospitalization.”
For more than a year, Jennifer Gravish, a certified music therapist, has been working closely with Jacobi’s pediatric patients. “As a music therapist, it is my job to help address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of these children by incorporating music into their lives,” said Gravish. “During our sessions, I encourage the children to write lyrics about how they feel, and to express themselves by playing instruments such as the guitar, drums, xylophone, and tambourines.”
It is estimated that well over 100 children per month will benefit from the continuation of Jacobi’s pediatric music therapy program.
“The patients simply adore Ms. Gravish and always anxiously await her return,” said Pratt. “It’s amazing to see how quickly the children transform during their sessions – as soon as they pick up a guitar, bang on a drum, or sing – it’s like they forget how sick they really are.”
©2009 Community News Group