Music Medicine Institute Receives Kiwanis Grant to Aid Local Military Families
The Music Medicine Institute (MMI) has received a grant of $1,500 from the Kiwanis Club of Skidaway in partial support of a pilot music therapy program to be implemented at Hunter Army Airfield (HAAF). The program will help military families – especially children – deal with the stress of parental deployment to war zones.
“The activities that MMI will institute are important and much needed,” says LTC Jose L. Aguilar, an Iraq veteran currently commanding Savannah’s Hunter Army Airfield, when asked to describe MMI’s potential impact on military families.
Under the leadership of MMI founder/director Elizabeth Jacobi, PhD, RMT, FAMI, the program will provide clinical services and be a valuable research vehicle that could lead to a larger program at both Hunter and Ft. Stewart, potentially impacting as many as 30,000 Savannah-area military families.
“The Kiwanis Club of Skidaway has been one of MMI’s earliest supporters,” says Dr. Jacobi, “and we’re grateful that its members will help us help so many families of local American heroes.
“Our intention is to provide music therapy interventions to three separate and distinct groups at HAAF: elementary, secondary and high school-aged children. Services will be delivered by a qualified music therapist utilizing music and music therapy techniques to ensure the optimal emotional and behavioral well-being of military children.”
“We are doing everything we can to make sure this program happens,” adds MAJ Theresa Mack, chief nurse and executive officer of Tuttle Army Health Clinic at HAAF, noting that children of deployed service members are at particularly high risk for alteration in psychosocial development, and, importantly, that deployed parents also benefit.
“Music therapy can help by emotionally connecting and engaging family support, helping to assure deployed service men and women that their families are being monitored and cared for by the community they are fighting to protect, and helping them understand their family’s psychological and emotional response to their absence,” she says, adding that there is relatively little screening related to the needs of the families of deployed members of the military currently being done.
The Music Medicine Institute’s program, with the support of the Kiwanis Club of Skidaway and others, can be a big step in addressing this vital need.
Pictured above (l. to r.): Gary Bocard, President, Kiwanis Club of Skidaway; Elizabeth Jacobi, PhD, RMT, FAMI, Founder-Director, Music Medicine Institute; Bill Wright, President-Elect, Kiwanis Club of Skidaway; MAJ Theresa C. Mack, Chief Nurse/Executive Officer, Tuttle Army Health Clinic, Hunter Army Airfield.