AVH tunes in to new approach to healing | AspenTimes.com

AVH tunes in to new approach to healing

Aspen Times Staff Report

A concert of original music and a discussion about music and the healing process, sponsored by Aspen Valley Hospital, will be held Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Inn at Aspen.

Harpist Susan Mazer and woodwind performer Dallas Smith will combine flavors of classical and jazz in their music, and also discuss music’s role in the creation of healing environments. Both Mazer and Smith are in Aspen working with AVH on a project to enhance the clinical environment and promote healing, according to a written statement from AVH.

Wednesday’s event, which is open to the public, coincides with an AVH effort to provide a more comfortable environment for all its patients.

The C.A.R.E. Channel (Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment), a 24-hour, closed-circuit TV program, will soon be available in all in-patient rooms to help mitigate the stress caused by institutional conditions. C.A.R.E. programming features instrumental music played to natural scenes, produced specifically for health-care settings.

Additionally, a daylong in-service workshop will be offered to AVH staffers to help caregivers learn more about the role of environment in healing.

“For instance,” said nurse Mary Margaret O’Gara, manager of AVH’s patient care and intensive-care units, “the sound environment has a 24-hour impact. It survives darkness, medication, and many levels of sleep and consciousness.”

“During hospitalization, patients live in unfamiliar surroundings where their routines are upset, and control and dignity are compromised,” O’Gara said. “We are working very hard to overcome those hardships. Music, imagery, and a staff that understands the realities of hospitalization are our first steps in providing the ultimate healing conditions.”

For more information about Wednesday’s concert, call AVH t at 544-1296.

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