For twenty years Hush has worked with high-profile Australian artists to create music that brings calm and optimism to patients, their families and staff in the often-stressful environment of hospitals and health care facilities.
A recent album, Nightlight, involved the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and renowned vocalists such as Missy Higgins and Megan Washington. In May 2023 they added Gratitudes, a series of solo guitar pieces composed by Slava Grigorian as a thank you to health professionals for the organisation’s hard work, particularly through the pandemic. The music can also be purchased online.
There is also a Hush Children’s Treasure Book to engage children who are waiting for medical treatment.
Reflecting on her Fellowship, Catherine says, ‘If I were to sum up the most impactful learning from my Churchill journey it would be that the biggest challenge to patient safety around the world is how staff treat each other. This light-bulb moment changed me forever and has driven all my efforts.’
She adds, ‘Fuelled by my life-changing Churchill experience, I realised we are facing a crisis of culture in healthcare.’
To help address this challenge she steered a merger between Hush and the Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care, now working on a national scale to transform healthcare culture and environments through the arts.
In 2022, Catherine Crock became a recipient of the Churchill Trust’s Impact Funding, an initiative aimed at enhancing the outcomes of identified Churchill Fellowships. Her expressed aim was to create video content to enable Hush performances to be streamed into hospitals, medical schools and conferences.
‘Using filmed vignettes of around 10 minutes each we could once again generate a discussion forum with hospital audiences and reinvigorate our impact.
‘In 2021, the pandemic stalled many hospital educational activities and meant all our live performances on-site had to be cancelled,’ Catherine recalls.
‘We knew that COVID-19 had increased stress and burnout amongst health professionals. Yet our Gathering of Kindness online events had reached an audience of around 40,000 internationally.
‘Inspired by the potential of online delivery, I wanted to be able to stream performances of the Hush health plays into hospitals, medical schools and conferences.
‘Using a streaming platform we could once again have an interactive live performance and discussion forum with hospital audiences and reinvigorate our impact. We know that the option of streaming our health plays has the potential to reach audiences far beyond the current limitations of in-person delivery, which pre-pandemic was 1,500 people per year in a variety of health settings.
‘As a cost-effective option to face-to-face delivery, this streaming project is enabling us to reach a wider interstate and overseas audience. In financial year 2022/23, our anticipated engagement will exceed 10,000 health professionals.
‘Based on past experience, this will make a significant contribution to improving the culture in hospitals and other healthcare facilities for the benefit of patients, families and hard-working staff,’ Catherine adds.