The Heather Pick Music Fund: Sharing the Healing Power of Music
The Heather Pick Music Program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) hosts professional musicians to perform for patients, caregivers, staff and visitors. Musicians representing several genres and instruments help create a warm, ambient music environment to mitigate discomfort, stress and anxiety for those affected by a cancer diagnosis.
For those unable to attend lobby performances, remote camera equipment allows the music to be streamed live into patient rooms, which distinguishes the OSUCCC – James from other cancer hospital music programs around the world. Scientific evidence suggests that integrating music into the hospital environment is an effective intervention for managing stress, recovery time, anxiety and depression.
Heather Pick was more than the beloved morning and noon news anchor for WBNS 10-TV whom viewers in central Ohio came to know and care about. She was a mother of two, a wife, a sister and a daughter, as well as a wonderful singer and songwriter. In her last years before dying of breast cancer, she worked with Mark Puskarich, who founded A Christmas To Cure Cancer and Blues for a Cure to encourage giving to cancer research.
In 2006 Pick recorded a cover of Santa Baby for the annual A Christmas To Cure Cancer compilation. In 2007 she made a full-length CD titled Circle of Support. In the title song she tells her friends and loved ones, “You’re my circle of support, I can’t do this without you…I know my circle starts with you.”
The experience of recording with Pick was memorable, says Puskarich. “She wasn’t feeling the best—you could tell just by looking at her, but not by anything she would say. She always asked about everyone else, was always putting everyone else first. Here I am asking someone who’s a wife, a mother, has a demanding job and is going through cancer treatments, ‘Do you have time to go to Nashville and record a CD?’ And she said, ‘Yes, let’s do that.’”
The result is a CD that friends and strangers say lifts their spirits during tough times. “Her voice takes you to that other side that tells you, you are going to be OK,” says Angela An, WBNS anchor and a close friend of Pick. “That is the spirit behind Heather’s CD, and it’s what the Heather Pick Music Program does for patients and families. It focuses on the music that your spirit will dance to.”
Your continued support provides:
- Two portable video streaming stations in the OSUCCC – James and the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, as well as continued funding to support operational costs, musical equipment and artist fees.
- Partnerships with music organizations and performance venues in central Ohio to host local and visiting performing artists at the OSUCCC – James.