Carytsas, a professionally trained musician, received her inspiration from similar programs at Duke University and University of Michigan medical centers. Both programs united top physicians, faculty and staff through music and recruited as many as 90 members.
“There are a lot of studies that show how music improves well-being,” Carytsas said. “It’s about building community and coming together in a creative and non-threatening environment.”
Linda Morris, M.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, a UF Health Shands Hospital SAGE nurse, was the program’s first “recruit.” She played with Carytsas at a wedding before the ensemble united. Morris is often the group’s unofficial music selector, choosing pieces ranging from Coldplay to Mozart to Aerosmith and even “Phantom of the Opera.”
“The music we’re playing is fun and accessible to both ourselves and our audience,” Morris said. “I really enjoy playing with other employees, and I know there are many others in the organization who are musically gifted. I encourage them to check it out.”