At These Boston Hospitals, Life Goes Uninterrupted
The world doesn’t stop when we get injured or sick: People marry, children continue learning and growing, and life goes on. Which is why so many hospitals are making accommodations for the world outside.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
His daughter was getting married and he was elated. Just one catch: The elderly patient was stuck at Brigham and Women’s awaiting a heart transplant, and his daughter and her fiancée lived in New York, where gay marriage had yet to be legalized.
Enter Maureen Fagan, executive director of the Center for Patients and Families at Brigham and Women’s. Fagan coordinates weddings, makes sure TVs work during the World Series, and gives families donated passes to the Museum of Fine Arts for much-needed breaks.
With her help, the brides staged an impromptu wedding. Flowers? Delivered from the gift shop. Tiered cake? Prepped by food services. There were crudités, finger sandwiches, and fruit. The hospital’s harpist provided a soundtrack, and a chaplain oversaw the ceremony.
“Families want a relationship with doctors and nurses. They want to be known,” Fagan says. “These kinds of things bring us back to the level of caring and inclusivity, being in a relationship with patients no matter what.” —By Kara Baskin
…to Rock ’n’ Roll
Boston Children’s Hospital
What started 10 years ago as an internship for Berklee College students is now a thriving musical-therapy program at Boston Children’s. Certified music therapists—trained in instruments and vocals as well as child psychology and family dynamics—arrive each day hauling sacks of instruments to share with patients and families (doctors and nurses often join in). The therapy helps patients improve speech and movement, and calms them. Several therapists also host a radio show at the multimedia Seacrest Studios (as in Ryan), which launched last year. Most requested songs? “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Let It Go,” from Frozen. —Michael Morton