I never thought I’d be exposed to such a wide variety of expert musicians and performers working as a communications coordinator in the Cancer Center. Through the Cancer Center’s Art of Healing Performing Arts Series, I have the exciting opportunity to work with high caliber musicians from the Peabody Institute, local ballet dancers, and even a former Temptation, all showcasing their talents to our patients, families and staff. And I never imagined how one hour of music every month could touch so many lives.
Think about the impact a favorite song or musician has on you. Music has the power to calm and console or to energize and invigorate. Now, think about the impact music can have in a cancer center. Many patients and families have told me how our Art of Healing concerts have impacted their lives. One story of music’s power was told by oncologist Evan Lipson in his podcast with Susan Liss, spouse of a pancreatic cancer patient who created a music library for other patients.
The inspiration for the Art of Healing Program came from the Kimmel Cancer Center’s former director, Martin Abeloff, M.D. in 1998 and is funded by the Emmert Hobbs Foundation. When our new clinical facility, the Weinberg Building, was opened more than a decade ago, Dr. Abeloff wanted an uplifting environment, mixing scientific and medical expertise to heal the human body while comforting the human spirit.
Together with inspirtational artwork hand-selected for the building, the Art of Healing Performing Arts Series has continued each year. And though Dr. Abeloff died from leukemia in 2007, the legacy of his Art of Healing Program continues to comfort patients and families.