Your Gifts at Work

Suzanne & Bob Weber

The Gift of Music

Suzanne and Bob Weber’s unprecedented gift to the Senior Behavioral Health Unit is bringing music to the ears of both patients and health care professionals – literally.

Longtime supporters of both Lakewood Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic, it was a visit to the unit that convinced the couple to make a more significant contribution by establishing an activity fund for the specialized 17-bed Senior Behavioral Health Unit. Today, the Weber’s generous donation of $15,000 is helping to fund music therapy for those suffering from physical and mental issues.

Twice a week, a music therapist from the Beck Center for the Arts visits the unit, working with patients in two-hour sessions, which include both group and one-on-one therapy. “We were so impressed with the quality of the program,” says Suzanne. “They are unbelievably capable. It was quiet, peaceful and the patients seemed to be very comfortable. This may be a unit that most people aren’t even aware of at Lakewood Hospital.”

“They have the whole thing down to an art,” adds Bob. “There was an attitude of happiness and a sense of working together that I haven’t seen in many places.” And Bob would know – he served on the Hospital Foundation Board for more than 20 years, including a stint as Board President. He was also born at Lakewood Hospital and grew up in the community.

As to the value of music therapy, Jane Burandt, Clinical Nurse Manager for the Senior Behavioral Health Unit, says, “Music is extremely important in many peoples’ lives. It’s calming, and it provokes memories.” She also says that for the older population of her unit, it offers valuable brain stimulation. “If they can put their hands on a tambourine or a drum, it seems to bring them out. We get memories, and we get them participating with each other. It’s amazing how they will respond.”

Of the Webers, Burandt says, “They are a wonderful couple. It meant a lot to the staff that someone had a positive and supportive view of what we do in mental health. It’s not big and shiny like a new cancer center or a new open heart center. Everyone felt really great that they genuinely wanted to be a part of what we do here.”

Mary Jane Cariens

Prototype Bike Helps Parkinson's Patients

Lakewood resident Mary Jane Cariens will do anything she can to fight the debilitating effects of her Parkinson’s disease. That includes cycling at speeds that move her 79-year-old legs faster than they have gone in years, perhaps ever.

Cariens is participating in an innovative program at Lakewood Hospital known as “forced exercise.” Nationally recognized research by the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Jay Alberts shows that forced exercise can bring Parkinson’s disease patients marked improvement in mobility and fine motor skills. In Cariens’ case, it involves maintaining a high RPM rate for a specific duration of time on a motorized stationary bicycle.

Lakewood Hospital Children’s Board President Jill Gilmore was so impressed with Dr. Alberts’ research that she and fellow board members unanimously supported the purchase of a prototype bike for the hospital. The $10,000 bike, designed by engineers in Dr. Alberts’ lab, uses a motor and algorithms to simulate the experience one might have on the back of a tandem bike. Lakewood is the only hospital in the country offering this type of forced exercise program in its outpatient rehabilitation services. “We liked that the bike was going to be unique to our hospital,” Gilmore said. “It’s a simple concept that makes such a difference in people’s lives.”

Gilmore and the Board members were also moved by the enthusiasm of Maria Mepham, a physical therapist and Manager of Rehabilitation Services who mentioned that the bike was on the department’s wish list. “The profound conclusions and results from this study really got us excited,” says Mepham. “We knew this was something that would have a direct impact on our patients, and it’s really nice that this all happened within the Cleveland Clinic health system.”

Twenty patients have received therapy on the motorized bike since it arrived in March. According to physical therapist Joyce Geib, the idea is for patients to do as much of the pedaling work as possible during the 20- to 40-minute cycling sessions.

Research shows that the exercise is effective only as long as patients keep up with active cycling. “If you stop doing it, you lose the full effects,” says Mepham.

League of Heroes

Lakewood Hospital “Superheroes” Unleash the Power of Good During the Annual Employee Giving Campaign

Every day members of the Lakewood Hospital family dedicate themselves to providing and supporting the provision of expert and compassionate care to the patients and families who walk through our doors – making an enormous impact on those who trust Lakewood Hospital at their most vulnerable of times.

During its nine years in existence, Lakewood Hospital employees have also demonstrated care for others through gifts in excess of $225,000 to the annual H.E.R.O. Campaign: Hospital Employees Reaching Out. Much of this generosity has been directed to the hospital’s Employee Care Fund, which provides confidential emergency aid for employees facing a personal financial crisis due to a catastrophic situation.

Lakewood Hospital caregivers are at the heart of the abundance of hope and healing on display at the hospital at any given time on any given day. And their generosity does not stop with patient care. Our employees not only feel a strong responsibility to provide the best health care possible to patients and their families, but also are willing to step up and respond in many other ways, particularly to this annual campaign.

A huge thanks to all members of the Lakewood Hospital family who exemplify the true spirit of giving.

The H.E.R.O. Campaign runs June 2014 through May 2015.

Photo: 2014 Lakewood Hospital superheroes Jackie Seymour, IT; Jann DeChant, Orthopaedics; Pam Wright, Administration; Kristen Ekman, MD, and Bob Gleeson, Facilities, unleashed the power of good, encouraging all to join their league of H.E.R.O.’s and make a gift to Lakewood Hospital’s annual employee giving campaign.

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