In the 2014-15 season, the Walla Walla Symphony launched a new music and wellness initiative titled “Heart Beat”, sponsored by the Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH). This program provides performances in the hospital for patients and their caregivers. As a result of this program, we hope that participants will report a reduced stress level and improved mood, both of which can enhance the healing and caregiving processes. Through “Heart Beat” we strive to harness the transformative powers of music to support wellness and help create a positive healing environment.
In June 2017, a Heart Beat performance took place at the Washington State Penitentiary. The Walla Walla Symphony's goal with this expansion is to reach those who are unable to physically attend our concerts and provide a live music experience for them.
From Karen Kellar, Vice President of Patient Services and CNO at WWGH:
"We have spent significant resources to improve our patient experience by remodeling many of our rooms and creating a more peaceful setting to receive care. The Heart Beat program moves us one step closer to that coal. Putting our patients at ease through music helps them heal. ...
Many of our staff work in intense situations. To hear music playing to their patients on the units and in the entry hall pulls them out of their stressful environment and reminds them of the humanity of what they do. Music speaks to our core and soothes all of us."