Posted In Peninsula Regional News on August 21, 2012
Hospitals, for all the caring and compassion their healthcare teams provide, can also understandably be locations of great stress, concern and anxiety for the family members and loved ones of patients. It was exactly that, not so long ago, for retired Salisbury orthodontist Dr. Alfred Beattie and his wife Ruth. They were at a St. Louis hospital to provide comfort to a niece who was dying of melanoma. They would spend three months with her before she passed. While it was an extremely emotional period, each found great comfort spending short periods of time together around a piano the hospital had installed in a nearby lobby. “It gave us such a feeling of serenity, a complete release of tension,” said Mrs. Beattie. While neither plays, they are both great lovers of music and have been philanthropically generous for a number of years. Upon their return to Salisbury, Dr. Beattie and Ruth, a PLUS volunteer at Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) for the past 25 years, reached out to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation with a request to donate a similar player piano. Working with Salisbury’s B & B Music, they selected a Roland electronic Baby Grand, which can be played, but on most days in player mode fills the lobby of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute with the sweet sounds of classical and jazz piano standards. “It’s an ideal location,” added Dr. Beattie. “Family members can grab a cup of coffee or soda from the Junior Board Shop right around the corner, listen for a while, relax and just unwind. It adds great ambiance.” Plans are to pipe the piano music throughout the first floor of the Medical Center so it can be enjoyed in a number of different lobbies and locations where people gather. Peninsula Regional also hopes to have local musicians visit and play live music on a regular basis utilizing not only the Baby Grand, but also adding accompanying instruments to create a regularly scheduled classical music series for patients, visitors and others. “We are so grateful to the Beattie’s for helping us to lift spirits, enlighten the soul and to soothe and inspire in such a peaceful style,” said Foundation President Denise Billing. The Beatties say it’s a joy to bring comfort to other people in the same way they were comforted during their own tough situation. “Pianos are to me like a warm hug,” added Mrs. Beattie. “This is our gift to the entire community, and if it allows someone even 15 minutes to just catch their breath and set their anxieties aside, it will accomplish everything we hoped it would.” A dedication ceremony will be held on Thursday, August 23 at 2 p.m. in the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute lobby at 2PM. Musicians interested in donating their time and talents may contact the PRMC Community Relations and Marketing Department at 410-543-7139.