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08-29-14  Topic: The Power of Music and The Healing Environment: A Conversation with Susan Mazer, PhD.

Not long after developing the tools of guided imagery meditation and Selective Awareness (mindfulness), I discovered how much more powerful they were when skillfully wedded to beautiful music and nature sounds. Not long after that, I met Susan Mazer, and we performed together, blending the uniquely beautiful sound of her harp with my voice. The results were spectacular!” – Emmett Miller

Dr. Mazer has a doctoral degree in Human and Organizational development as well a Master of Arts in Musicology, and has come a long way since that time 30 years ago. She has produced a huge library of beautiful nature images and soothing music that is available to every patient in more than 700 hospitals. Check it out when you are next in a hospital – it is the CARE Channel. She has gained professional recognition for her work demonstrating the need to counteract the noise in hospital and other healing environments.

In this warm and personal discussion, you will get to know the woman herself and her concepts of how music can shift the sense of time and place to enable patients to claim their identity in the healing process, overcoming helplessness, and speeding recovery. She will reveal why she sees the environment as a primary tool in the healing process, and quotes Florence Nightingale’s observations on this point. If you or those you love become ill, it would be good to understand this oft-neglected tool of healing.

And, especially, you will experience Dr. Mazer’s transcendent harp solo and together with some guided imagery with Dr. Miller – their first collaboration in more than 30 years. You’re going to love this episode!

Susan Mazer earned her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University, where she also holds a Master of Arts degree. She was previously awarded a graduate fellowship to Stanford University where she completed her Master of Arts in Musicology.

Dr. Mazer is also an adjunct faculty member of the Saybrook University College of Mind-Body Medicine. She graduated from Wayne State University and was born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1992, she and her husband, Dallas Smith, founded Healing HealthCare Systems (HHS). Included on INC Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest growing small businesses in America, HHS produces The C.A.R.E. Channel relaxation programming for patient television. Prior to her work in healthcare, Dr. Mazer had a full-time career as a jazz harpist, performing with Smith, and such notables as Ahmad Jamal, Frank Sinatra, and Julio Iglesias.

Her accomplishments include bringing the issue of hospital noise to the forefront of hospital concern through her accredited educational programs for nurses and presentations at conferences. In addition, Dr. Mazer is an expert in the field of privacy and HIPAA. A well-published author, Dr. Mazer has written articles and white papers for major healthcare journals and periodicals focusing on noise in hospitals, speech privacy, patient safety, elder care, and other related topics. She has also been featured on “Good Morning America” as a hospital noise expert.

She is a member of the American Gerontological Society, Society for the Arts in Healthcare, Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), Association of Healing Healthcare Advocates, Stanford Alumni Association, Wayne State University Alumni Association, and Cass Technical High School Alumni Association. Dr. Mazer and Smith received a 2012 Symposium Distinction Award for their contributions to the healthcare design industry and were named to Facility Care Magazine’s list of Who’s Who of Health Facilities Management for their work on noise reduction.

Dr. Mazer and Smith’s music has been featured on NPR, the Discovery Channel, and NOVA. They are also the founders and sponsors of the Elder Care Concert Series in Reno, NV, which is administered by the Sierra Arts Foundation.

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