The lobby of University of Cincinnati Medical Center was filled with healthy, strong voices last week for the announcement of a new collaboration between the hospital and one of Cincinnati's premier arts organizations in the UC Medical Center and Cincinnati Opera Voice Health Partnership.
The partnership will bring opera performances to the hospital and make UCMC the official health and voice care provider of the Cincinnati Opera. UCMC providers will also offer free screenings and voice education events for the Greater Cincinnati community.
Speaking at the Feb. 21 event, UCMC President and CEO W. Brian Gibler, MD, said the "very new and very special collaboration” began with the partnership between UC Health otolaryngologist Sid Khosla, MD, and speech pathologist Eva van Leer, PhD, both faculty in the UC Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.
"Our department of otolaryngology offers the type of specialized care that you simply cannot find at any other hospital or health system in Cincinnati or the country,” said Gibler.
Khosla and van Leer, co-directors of the UC Health Performance & Professional Voice Center, began working with the Opera in 2011 when they coordinated the region’s first World Voice Day event.
As part of the new partnership, Khosla and van Leer will offer screenings for Cincinnati Opera singers and informational sessions on voice health. They also will offer free voice screenings for the public twice a year, with the first scheduled for fall 2013.
Last summer, they served as voice health providers for the World Choir Games, held in Cincinnati as part of its first run in the U.S. This summer will see another international voice event hold its first U.S. event in Cincinnati, with the International Conference on Advances in Quantitative Laryngology, Voice, and Speech Research being held at UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center June 3-4.
Also as part of the partnership, Cincinnati Opera singers will make appearances at UCMC in several live performances scheduled throughout the year.
"What a wonderful experience this will be for our patients, physicians, guests and staff members who may be unable to attend an actual performance,” said Gibler. "This collaboration provides the opportunity for all to enjoy a live show by trained opera professionals right here at the UC Medical Center.”
Cincinnati Opera Board of Trustees President Robert Wilson said the new partnership will enhance the wellness of the Cincinnati voice community—"the expertise of the UCMC medical staff will be invaluable to our professional and amateur signers through the area,” he said—and allow it to reach new audiences in the region.
Wilson said the Opera specifically hopes to engage UCMC residents with the local arts community through membership in the Opera’s young professional group and discounts to performances and events.