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For Immediate Release
March 11 , 2016
(LONDON, Ontario) – March is Music Therapy Awareness Month, and patients and families alike at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre are singing the praises of its Music Therapy Program.
Through its Accredited Music Therapist, Karina Charczuk, Children’s Hospital is able to bring the comfort of music into the hospital—often a scary place for young patients. “Music therapy helps patients to normalize the hospital environment,” says Charczuk, who joined the Children’s Hospital team in January 2015. This new program is funded by Children’s Health Foundation.
Music therapy involves the use of music and musical elements to promote, maintain and restore mental, physical, and emotional health. As a music therapist, Charczuk works with children of all ages (from neonatal infants to adolescents), using interventions that include listening to music, lyric analysis, songwriting, and playing instruments.
Three-year-old Dylan Kittmer, an inpatient at Children’s Hospital for the past 60 days, has benefitted from his regular sessions with Charczuk where he gets to play a variety of instruments and sing along to children’s songs with her. For some songs he has bells attached to his ankles along with handbells to shake, and for other songs he manipulates an “ocean drum” with tiny beads that replicate the sound of waves.
“He smiles constantly when Karina is here,” says Dylan’s mom, Karen. “When he’s in session with her, he’s interactive, which isn’t always the case with everyone in the hospital. He’s a social kid, so this therapy is important to help keep him social while he’s here.”
Charczuk holds a bachelors degree in both music and psychology, as well as a masters of Music Therapy. She says music therapy was an ideal way to combine her passions for music and psychology, and she is humbled to have the opportunity to build the music therapy program at Children’s Hospital.
Members of the media are invited to speak with Music Therapist Karina Charczuk, as well as Karen Kittmer whose three-year-old son Dylan – an inpatient at Children’s Hospital – has benefitted from regular music therapy sessions. The Kittmers will be available between 2:30 – 4pm today (Friday, March 11).
About London Health Science Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 141 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
About Children’s Health Foundation
Children’s Health Foundation raises and grants funds to support specialized paediatric patient care and equipment at Children’s Hospital, the delivery of exceptional programs, long-term therapy and rehabilitation services at Thames Valley Children’s Centre and research into the causes and cures of children’s health challenges at Children’s Health Research Institute. The funds raised by Children’s Health Foundation empower paediatric health care partners to serve all of the unique needs of young patients across Southwestern Ontario. From innovative care and rehabilitation to ground-breaking research, Children’s Health Foundation positively impacts each component of paediatric health care, helping kids to reach their full potential and lead happy, healthy lives. Learn more at www.childhealth.ca.
For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 77129
After-hours and weekend assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call.