In 1999, an idea to bring the healing power of music directly into the rooms of hospital patients turned into Musicians On Call (MOC). MOC is now celebrating the milestone of reaching one million people nationwide through our programs including the Bedside Performance Program, Virtual Bedside Performance Program and Music Pharmacy. In honor of this celebration, we teamed up with Garth Brooks to perform virtually for MOC’s one-millionth person, a patient at Staten Island University Hospital.
Marianna Mishik, an 87-year-old Staten Island native who was recovering from a fall injury, was MOC’s one millionth patient. As a lifelong country music fan, Mishik and Brooks bonded over their military ties, classic country favorites and their mutual love of the genre. Mishik and her daughter were then treated to a personal serenade as Garth sang a couple of his hit songs. Mishik detailed her love of dancing and Garth even offered to take her dancing in Nashville once she got better. The virtual visit was arranged as part of Musicians On Call’s Jason Pollack Bedside Performance Program at Staten Island University Hospital.
“This is a monumental moment for Musicians On Call and everyone who has had a hand in touching the lives of one million patients, families and caregivers, bringing them joy through music during some of their toughest days. Thanks to the commitment of our volunteers and our partnerships with healthcare facilities, we’ve been able to use the healing power of music to improve the lives of so many people,” said Musicians On Call President & CEO Pete Griffin. “We are deeply grateful to Garth Brooks for joining us in this celebration and creating an unforgettable moment for the one-millionth person impacted by our programs. This is a day none of us will forget.”
“My mother is one of the most incredible women and meeting Garth was an incredible experience. Music helps you put your mind somewhere else, especially country music, it gets down into your bones – and I’m hoping it will heal my mother’s bones!” said Audrey Parente, daughter of Mishik.
In preparation for reaching the one million milestone, MOC created the One in a Million campaign, highlighting the stories of patients, caregivers and volunteers who have participated in programs over the years. Stories like Sophia, a young patient who had a life-changing visit with her favorite singer following a sudden, traumatic brain injury. And a New York mother named Sharon who carries sweet memories of the visits her late son received from MOC volunteers while in the hospital almost two decades ago, giving her family new meaning to classic songs. As part of the celebration, we are also auctioning off a One in a Million experience that includes two VIP tickets to the iHeart Radio Music Festival, two Southwest Airlines round trip tickets and one million Hilton points.
As the nation’s leading provider of live music in hospitals, Musicians On Call uses music to promote and complement the healing process for hospital patients and their family members, and offer moments of relief for hardworking caregivers. It has been demonstrated that music has a direct effect on people and can manage stress, alleviate pain and improve pain tolerance, blood pressure, outlook and overall mood. Through the Bedside Performance and Virtual Bedside Performance Programs, patients receive live music directly at their beds, performed by an in-person volunteer or virtually in an intimate one-on-one setting or a hospital-wide concert. More than 800 volunteers and hundreds of award-winning recording artists have participated in these programs over the past 23 years.