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St. Joseph Health employee donates piano to hospital

03/14/2013

St. Joseph Health employee donates piano to hospital

Eureka, CA (March 14, 2013) – Patients of St. Joseph Hospital's (SJH) Inpatient Rehabilitation unit will now be able to enjoy a touch of music therapy thanks to the donation of a piano. Sharon Hunter, manager of SJH's Care Transitions program, generously donated her piano earlier this month to the department.

"The piano was very special to me. It even withstood a house fire," Hunter said. Additionally, she said "It's a survivor and I thought it could be a source of inspiration for patients who are trying to return to a productive lifestyle after an injury or illness."

While patients in the Inpatient Rehab unit go through a carefully planned rehab program, non-traditional forms of medicine, such as musical therapy, can help play a role in a patient's healing process. "For many of our patients, music has been a hobby, or in some cases, a profession. Our inpatient rehabilitation focuses on treating the whole person – addressing not just their medical needs, but also incorporating music and other passions as part of their recovery," said Jim Peaker, regional director of rehabilitation services for St. Joseph Health – Humboldt County. Additionally, Peaker said "Sometimes hearing a familiar tune can bring sunshine to an otherwise cloudy day for our patients. I look forward to hearing songs and Christmas carols as patients, family and staff gather around the piano."

The donation was truly a team effort as Humboldt Moving and Storage and Bill Ryder, a local piano technician and musician, donated moving services and tuning services for the piano.

St. Joseph Hospital's Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit provides patient-focused rehabilitation care for individuals who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness. The goal of rehabilitation is to enable those who have experienced disabling conditions to achieve their fullest potential for recovery and to re-enter the community. The program excels in an area that many rehabilitation units do not – returning patients to their homes as opposed to a skilled nursing facility or care home. While the national average for rehabilitation units sending patients home is 70 percent, SJH's unit sends an average of 83 percent home.

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