PSFK talks to the CEO of JoyRx about infusing the hospital environment with the healing power of music to bring happiness to children and teens with life-threatening illnesses.
PSFK is excited to welcome Regina Ellis as a speaker at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO. Regina is the founder and CEO of the Children Cancer Association (CCA), which has developed JoyRx alongside innovative, award-winning pediatric programs and resources that are delivered free of charge to children and teens with life threatening illnesses. On November 1st, Regina will discuss how JoyRx is delivering a unique method of care to seriously ill kids and their families who are in need of more than medicine.
What do you think distinguishes JoyRx from other healthcare programs?
The Children Cancer Association (CCA) the only organization of its kind in the nation. Established in 1995, after my oldest daughter died of cancer at the age of five, it has the simple goal of delivering JoyRx to seriously ill children and teens when they need more than medicine.
CCA combines energy, commitment and vision to transform the standard of care for seriously-ill children every day. Working with an inspiring team of professionals, I have pioneered innovative, award-winning pediatric programs, education and resources that are delivered free of charge over 275,000 times each year to children and teens with life threatening illnesses.
What started around my kitchen table has now grown to be one of the largest children’s health organizations in the Pacific NW with in-hospital programming in 25 children’s units throughout nine children’s hospitals and medical facilities in Washington, Oregon and California while offering educational resources and its newest digital MyMusicRx Rx.org program of music medicine to kids’ and teens throughout the United States and Canada.
Today, CCA’s innovative brand attracts powerful, strategic partners and global leaders such as Apple iTunes, Converse, Gatorade, Nike, Fader,Anomaly, the NBA Trailblazers, Atlantic Records, Genentech, Papa Murphy’s, Entercom Communications and others who support CCA’s initiatives, helping thousands of kids simply have a better day.
What is the Joy Effect?
I believe joy grows exponentially when it’s used collectively. At CCA, we’ve harnessed the power of joy for the past 17 years for kids in their greatest moment of need. Founded in innovation, CCA has been the catalyst for bringing people together for a common cause and greater good.
CCA is all about today. We specialize on the moment, delivering immediate JoyRx to kids and teens facing life-threatening illnesses. Our flagship program is Music as Medicine.
What’s unique about music as a therapy?
Whether you’re making it or listening to it or sharing it, there’s something about music that has the power to heal. Music does more than just fill an environment; it transforms it. That’s why nearly two decades ago CCA created MusicRx®, an innovative program that lets kids express themselves by writing their own “music prescription.”
Because we so deeply believe in the power of music medicine, CCA has continued to share our ground breaking model and program elements inspiring countless other music projects in pediatric medical environments across the nation .And today, CCA has expanded the MusicRx experience to include MyMusicRx.org, an online extension of our original in-hospital program. Combined, these two programs deliver more than 85,000 music moments across the nation, every year.
For almost two decades, Music Rx® has soothed and rejuvenated hospitalized children, teens, their family members, and the medical professionals who care for them by infusing the hospital environment with the healing power of music.
Fueled by therapeutic music specialists and highly trained volunteers, our flagship program delivers bedside music medicine and live acoustic hallway performances. MusicRx meets kids where they are, empowering their choice in prescribing the music experience that is best for them — at that moment. CCA’s MusicRx team travels throughout pediatric hospitals in Oregon and SW Washington serving units such as PICU, NICU, rehabilitation, hematology/oncology, the burn unit, as well as general pediatrics, with our state-of-the-art mobile music cart loaded with its own sound system, recording studio and extensive instrument and iPod/iPad lending library.
What has been the result?
MyMusicRx MusicRx® has expanded to include MyMusicRx.org, an online extension of our original in-hospital program. Kids and teens facing a serious illness across the country can register to receive free music medicine at MyMusicRx.org. On any given day, 24/7, they can play free online music games, explore digital instruments, record original music, watch exclusive video greetings from their favorite artists, and connect with other youth.
But it’s not just for kids—music lovers of all ages can download the free MyMusicRx app to purchase their iTunes music (5% of proceeds go to CCA). They can even prescribe music as medicine, sharing songs that match a kid’s mood or lift their spirits.
Can you help us think of an optimistic future based on your work?
Kids deserve long, wonderful lives. Or, at the very least short, wonderful lives. I envision a day when kids’ diagnosed with cancer or a terminal illness will be delivered an inexhaustible infusion of JoyRx alongside traditional treatments and state of the art medical interventions. Making room for Joy in the moments between life and death will changes lives for the better-yours, mine, ours.
JoyRx // @joyrx
Please join us on November 1st to hear Regina discuss how JoyRx is infusing the hospital environment with the healing power of music at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO.