State of Music Therapy in Ohio Children’s Hospitals

Ohio is a leader in the nation in the area of pediatrics. Ohio boasts 8 children hospitals, out of which 2 are in the top 10 children’s hospitals, ranked by U.S. News. These are great news for all Ohioans. Great care for your child is available within reasonable distance. But, how do these hospitals do in terms of music therapy? What is the state of music therapy in Ohio children’s hospitals? That is what we set out to investigate for today’s blog post!


Music therapy as a profession has only been around for about 70 years. One of its first uses was actually in hospitals along with physicians. Therefore, it is no surprise that more and more hospitals see the benefit of music therapy in their services. At least in Ohio, from an initial search we were able to find that at least five hospitals out of eight definitely have music therapy (we support four of those!) Here is some information on what each hospital offers:


Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron

Akron Children’s Hospital has one full-time music therapy coordinator and one contracted music therapist 2 days a week. Music therapy takes place at the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center. Emily Cooper Welty made a $1.2 million donation to establish this center. She must have definitely seen the value in expressive therapies! With a grant of $10,000, we are able to support the music therapy program at Akron.


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati

Cincinnati Children’s is the #2 children’s hospital in the nation! They have four full-time music therapists at base and 2 more in other locations. This is where Sam spent a long time and interacted with one of the best music therapists ever, Brian Schreck. They really do a good job with their music therapy program. We currently donate towards their art therapy program, not music therapy. Nevertheless, we have given them a lot of music supplies that they use for the music therapy sessions!


Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center, Cleveland

Cleveland Clinic Children’s also has a page on music therapy in their website. They have told us that they have two music therapists (and two art therapists) employed! At Sam’s Fans, we are talking to them about ways in which we can help them expand their music therapy program.


Dayton Children’s Hospital, Dayton

Dayton Children’s Hospital is another hospital supported by Sam’s Fans. Through a $10,000 grant they have been able to have an “artist in residence” program. This is a great addition to their hospital and a step towards having a music therapy program, although they do not have music therapists employed yet.


Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus

Nationwide Children’s is one of our strongest partnerships. They have a well-developed music therapy program. This includes an innovative program called Sounds of Love in which music therapists help parents and encourage them to sing and read to a recording device. These recordings are then played to their kids to soothe them. NCH also has a number of music therapists with special training to use music therapy in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In addition to that, they have music therapists who go all around the hospital offering music therapy to all patients.


Mercy Children’s Hospital, Toledo

Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo is a clinic part of a larger network of hospitals. We were not able to find any information on music therapy in their website, which probably means they do not have music therapists employed.


Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland

This hospital is also part of a larger chain of hospitals. They do talk about music therapy in their website but it is unclear whether they have music therapists employed or not.


Toledo Children’s Hospital, Toledo

This hospital is part of ProMedica and they also have a page on their website that briefly talks about music therapy. It is also unclear if they have music therapists employed or not.


Overall, music therapy at children’s hospitals in Ohio is gaining ground. As a side note and a small comparison, where I am from (Mexico) I have never heard of music therapy in any hospitals. But in the U.S., more and more hospitals see the benefit of music therapy!

Nevertheless, I would argue it is not enough. Oftentimes, the number of consults requested for music therapy far exceeds what the music therapists employed can provide. Sam’s Fans plays a unique role as probably the only non-profit organization in Ohio solely dedicated to fundraising for music and art therapy at hospitals. It is often the case that the music therapists that are already employed rely on grants to have a salary. This is only speculation, but probably hospitals do not see revenue coming from music therapy and therefore, are hesitant to pay for it. Therefore, funding is scarce and outside agencies like Sam’s Fans have to step in to help provide funding for these awesome services.


That is why your help is crucial! And we thank you because you have given to Sam’s Fans a lot. We could not do what we do without you!


Thanks for reading today’s blog post!

L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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