Health & Medicine

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback aids Sutter Health’s pediatric music therapy program

A music therapy program for pediatric patients received a boost Wednesday when NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and his wife, Barb, presented a check for $150,000 to Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento to construct a music therapy facility on the midtown campus of Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento.

The donation came from the Youngs’ philanthropic organization, Forever Young Foundation. The music therapy facility will be named Sophie’s Place in honor of a family friend, Sophie Barton, who often performed for pediatric patients in Utah until she died of a heart condition in 2010 at age 17, according to a Sutter Health news release. Her parents, Anne-Marie and Kent Barton, attended Wednesday’s donation ceremony.

The music therapy facility will occupy a 1,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center, scheduled to open in May 2015 at 29th and L streets, across from Sutter General Hospital. It will feature two rooms – one where music therapists will provide group and individual treatment, and a recording studio with numerous instruments, including guitars, keyboards and percussion instruments. The facility is designed to be sound-proof so as not to disturb patients outside the music therapy rooms.

Sutter Children’s Center, currently inside Sutter Memorial Hospital, began offering music therapy last year in its playroom and at the bedside. Sophie’s Place will allow the Sutter Children’s Center Child Life Program to expand this service.

Sophie’s Place opened last year in Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Hospital as the first dedicated music therapy facility in a medical center. The one to be constructed at the Sutter Medical Center will be the second. Two others, including one inside Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, are also in the works.