Patients at Saint Thomas Rutherford Get a “Breath of Fresh Air” from a Country Music Star

The second Chris Janson walked into the Wellness Center at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, the room of 25 patients, all holding their harmonicas, started smiling. The rising country music singer & songwriter’s delightful personality mixed with humor and pure musical talent inspired the patients, all of whom are suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, known as COPD.

Janson, who’s recent hit single “Buy Me a Boat, can relate on a smaller scale to these patients. He doesn’t have COPD but does have asthmatic attacks. He says playing the harmonica has helped him breathe easier. Janson is the spokesman for a new pilot program called “Harmonicas for Health” which was started by the COPD Foundation in conjunction with the Academy of Country Music. The pilot program launched at Saint Thomas Rutherford with the pulmonary rehab department. The COPD Foundation’s goal is to spread it around to more than 20 other facilities. For five weeks, the group of patients learned how to play the harmonica. Not only did they learn how to play, it gave them a reason to leave the house and meet new people.

The harmonica class is now over, but don’t tell that to the patients. Some of them are planning to keep the music playing, as they recruit more and more COPD patients. They are volunteering to teach the new batch of students.

To learn more about pulmonary rehab and how to play the harmonica to help breathe easier:

Wellness Center at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital:
1840 Medical Center Parkway, Suite 203
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(615) 396-5500

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