Holy Name Medical Center Press Release

Holy Name Medical Center Press Releases


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Holy Name Launches Harmonica Program for Patients with Lung Disease
Unique program in Northern New Jersey

Holy Name Medical Center is taking the lead on engaging patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) by introducing Harmonicare Lung Therapy, a program involving patients playing the harmonica to help them battle chronic lung diseases. The program offered by Holy Name Medical Center’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is free and open to any patient diagnosed with lung related diseases. Sessions will take place on a weekly basis at Holy Name Medical Center for 6 week sessions.  All participants receive music lessons, a free harmonica, and support from Holy Name staff.

"This is a unique opportunity to introduce music therapy as a way to offer not only a social setting for individuals battling chronic lung diseases, but also engage them in therapies to help learn additional breathing techniques as well," said Dr. Adam Jarrett, chief medical officer at Holy Name. "No other hospital in North Jersey offers a program like this, and Holy Name is offering this program for free to anyone in and around North Jersey."

The program is part of an initiative undertaken Holy Name's ACO in partnership with the hospitals Pulmonary Rehab Program to help patient's better cope with managing chronic diseases.   Along with this program, patients will also have opportunities to engage with clinical staff to further learn about COPD management and chronic care management. "We are excited to launch this initiative at Holy Name Medical Center," said Karine Shnorhokian, nurse manager with the Holy Name Medical Center ACO. Anyone with a chronic lung disease diagnosis is welcome to be part of this free and fun program."

Harmonica teaching will be run by professional harmonica players, along with volunteer staff with harmonica playing experience. All sessions will include a clinician or pulmonary therapist. The hospital is also building relationship with The Garden State Harmonica Club as well as working with other musical programs in the area in anticipation of the programs popularity.

It is estimated that 12.7 million U.S. adults suffer from COPD, and is the 3rd leading cause of death in America. Symptoms often include chronic coughing, increased breathlessness with or without activity, and wheezing. Although COPD is linked to patients having a history of smoking, there are other environmental and genetic factors involved with this disease as well. Unfortunately there is no cure to COPD, but medication compliancy, staying active, and social interactions are significant factors to help people cope with this disease.

The program launch coincides with COPD awareness month, which is in November. If you are interested in participating, contact Karine Shnorhokian at harmonicare@holyname.org or by phone at 201-541-6338.