Volunteer Spirit: Bluegrass band provides peace for patients

DOWNTOWN KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Water fountains provide a soothing atmosphere daily, but the Heartstrings, strumming in the lobby at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Downtown three times a month, make it even better.

Paula Minhinnett, the Volunteer Services Coordinator says, "Everyone who comes here as a patient they are worried.. their health, finances, and then you hear this music and it makes you forget that for just a little while."

Jane Cohen, a guitarist says, "It makes us feel good, we come to make them happy, if this makes them happy, we're happy."

Danny Sherrod the Courtesy Ambassador says, "It really helps to humanize the whole atmosphere can help people relax and not be afraid."

They're a bluegrass band made up of several retired folks with a love for music.

"This group saved my life," explains Jane. "I didn't know what I was going to do with myself and I started playing with the heartstrings and the camaraderie and the comfort they bring to people made me happy."

They spread volunteer spirit wherever they go.

"We enjoy going around. We also do nursing homes. We play here and four other nursing homes on a regular basis, according to Jane."

"They are joyful noise. And they travel, can't get any better, says Paula.

Danny adds, "Having that and the water (fountains,) we get rather spoiled.


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