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Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Secures Grant to Create Neurologic Music Therapy Program

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital has announced it received a $50,000 grant award from The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation to support the creation and implementation of a Neurological Music Therapy Program.

Burke is partnering with MedRhythms, Inc., Therapy Division, to provide an on-site Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT) to work directly with patients. NMTs utilize musical components to foster neurological changes in the brain. According to Dr. Mooyeon Oh-Park, SVP and Chief Medical Officer at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, “The Neurologic Music Therapy Program is envisioned to provide an effective, evidence-based intervention to help patients with neurological deficits make significant progress toward recovery. We are excited to be offering this therapeutic modality to our patients.”

Burke’s SCI/Neuro Clinical Team Leader Elizabeth Rider, OT R/L, said, “We are truly grateful to The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation for their generous financial support of this important program. MedRhythms’ talented, board-certified NMTs use specialized, evidenced-based concepts and techniques such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation and Melodic Intonation Therapy to address impairments often seen in patients after a stroke, brain injury, or other neurological diagnoses.”

She added, “Using music as the medium for intervention, NMT sessions address areas such as cognition, upper extremity movement, inattention/neglect, gait, speech, voice and more in conjunction with the patient’s physical, occupational and speech therapies. The interventions are fun, engaging and motivating for patients and caregivers alike.”

Caitlin Hebb, Clinical Operations Manager and Neurologic Music Therapist Fellow, further explained, "MedRhythms’ NMTs work closely with the therapy and medical team by providing individual and group therapy, as well as co-treatment sessions where NMTs collaborate with other clinicians simultaneously, drawing on the expertise of both clinicians and providing the highest quality of care. This inter-professional team-based approach increases patient outcomes and promotes knowledge translation across disciplines."

Chrissy Stack, Therapy Business Development Manager, MedRhythms, described how Neurologic Music Therapy is propelled forward by advancements in neuroscience research and the understanding of how music is processed and perceived in the brain, and how this affects non-musical brain and behavior function.

Stack said, “Neurologic Music Therapy is a specialization within the field of Music Therapy. It is rooted in the biological impact music has on the brain. This research-driven clinical model uses standardized interventions based on neuroscience research in human music perception and production, and how these interventions can aid in neuroplasticity and help individuals who suffer from a neurologic injury or disease improve in the areas of movement, language, and cognition.”

Burke’s NMT program is scheduled to begin in late fall or winter.

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