SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hospice Savannah was able to unveil their newly renovated patio Sunday at their live jukebox experience, Back to Before.

“Savannah Voice Festival and Hospice Savannah have an amazing partnership that’s built all around music therapy and the healing power that the human voice can bring to people,” said Maria Zouves, Executive Director of Savannah Voice Festival. “It brings comfort, it brings joy, and it can bring back memories for the patients.”

For the people at Savannah Voice Festival and Hospice Savannah, musical therapy is just as important as any other medical practice.

“Music therapy is something that we offer to all of our patients. What we’ve seen are miracles often come out of music. There’s people we care for who have had dementia or other neurological disorders who can’t talk, and they actually begin to sing. They bond with their families, they look at them and say, ‘I love you,’ there’s not a shortage of stories that could be told,” said Dr. Kathleen Benton, CEO of Hospice Savannah.

For the front line workers at Hospice Savannah, the pandemic proved a challenging time. As health care facilities around the country were forced to limit visitation, Hospice Savannah was faced with a similar dilemma. Dr. Kathleen Benton and their team decided to get creative and discuss how they could best serve their patients and their families during the pandemic.

“For us, the problem was, other health care facilities were pivoting by limiting visitation and for us it was how can we be creative, safe and avoid limiting visitation. This is where people go to die, and they want to be with those they love,” Dr. Benton said.

The creation of the courtyard patio is what the team landed on, allowing both palliative and hospice patients and their families a space to gather.

“Having the Patio has allowed more staff meetings, more family meetings, more gatherings and celebrations. It’s important that patients at the end of their life are able to celebrate last things, and we want to help them do that,” added Dr. Benton.

Hospice Savannah has been servicing its community for 38 years and is the only non-profit hospice care unit in the Hostess City.