VNA’s Music Therapy program turns 5!

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Guest blogger: Mabel Ortiz, Music Therapist

Birthdays are special, and an occasion to celebrate! The VNA Music Therapy program is celebrating 5 years and we’d like to commemorate this landmark with you by reflecting on the milestones we’ve achieved along the way.

July 2014
Music therapy program proposal was submitted by music therapist Moreen Burkart, MT-BC to the Visiting Nurse Association.

September 2014
Meetings with VNA board members took place to discuss the development of the VNA Music Therapy program.

November 2014
The start of the VNA Music Therapy program to serve hospice patients is in the works. Application for the Impact 100 grant was submitted.

January 2015
The VNA launched inaugural Music Therapy program. Contribution from the Ann Bradley Jones Foundation was received to initiate the iPod program.

April 2015
The VNA Music Therapy program was awarded with the Impact 100 grant which supported the purchasing of instruments and tools for innovative music therapy services and supported funding of a full-time music therapist in hospice.

December 2015
A total of 969 patient visits have been completed since the program’s beginnings.

October 2016
The waiting list to receive music therapy services continue to grow as referrals continued to be received. The number of referrals exceeded the ability of one music therapist to serve the need of music therapy services. Mabel Ortiz, MM, MT-BC joined as the second full-time music therapist in hospice to expand services to more patients in the community.

June 2017
VNA Music Therapy internship program is initiated with the support of the Willis Foundation.

November 2017
Nilsa Pozo, MT-BC joined the VNA Music Therapy program as the third, full-time music therapist as the demand for music therapy services in hospice increased. The demand for music therapy services in home health was also on the rise.

May 2018
VNA Music Therapy manager, Moreen Burkart, MT-BC, was awarded with Woman of the Year Award.

Our commitment with Indian River County steadily strengthen as collaborations through the provision of community programming continued. As our program grew, so did our community outreach.

End of year 2018
The VNA Music Therapy resource room was inaugurated with the support of the Otis T. Pike Foundation.

January 2019
1,208 hospice patients have received music therapy services since the program’s beginning.

December 2019
Lauren Meeks, MT-BC joined the VNA Music Therapy program to support the expansion of music therapy services in home health; addressing the needs of patients with neurologic and severe chronic conditions.

January 2020
The VNA Music Therapy program celebrates its fifth anniversary since its founding. More than 7,000 patients and families have received music therapy services in Indian River County to date. The VNA Music Therapy department’s goal is to continue to meet the needs of our patients and families, continue to educate and share resources with the community, giving back to the music therapy profession by training more music therapy interns, and continue to bring awareness about the benefits of music therapy.

We are honored to serve this community by providing innovative and quality music therapy services to hospice, home health and private care patients and clients. Our goal is to continue to offer music therapy services to individuals and families like you to support your well-being and enhance your quality of life. Here’s to many more years!

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