Grant Helps Samaritan Hospice Music Program

More patients of Samaritan Pacific Hospice can now receive live therapeutic music, thanks to a recent grant by the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition. This beneficial music played at the bedside of a critically ill or dying patient helps to soothe difficult emotions and stress, and can even help to ease pain and calm breathing.

For the past several years, Mark Beckwith, a certified music practitioner from Newport, has played Native American-style wooden flutes in the homes of many hospice patients. Beckwith acts as a compassionate presence in the room, observing patients and specially tailoring his music as patients respond. Studies show that therapeutic music can stabilize heart rate, affect respiration, reduce anxiety and stress, reduce need for pain medication, and much more. It can also relax caregivers and help a patient achieve a peaceful transition.

“Our patients tell us that it is wonderful to have this music available to them. Because of Mark’s training he seems to be able to feel whatever a patient needs at the time – if they’re anxious, he plays something calming, for instance,” says Theresa Karlik (pronounced CAR-lick), manager, Samaritan Pacific Hospice. “I’m so thankful for this grant to continue his service.”

Currently, hospice cares for approximately 14 patients per month in the Samaritan Pacific Hospice area. Since patients are not charged for Beckwith’s music, his time is only limited by available funding through the Hospice Fund administered by Pacific Communities Health District Foundation. The $1,300 grant received by the foundation will allow him to serve additional patients and caregivers with his music.

The grant is supported by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage, and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.