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New on-hold music format features local musicians

Hospital news | Friday, February 4, 2011

Contact: Mardi Ford

Grande Ronde Hospital recently unveiled a new format for on-hold telephone music and messages. The new music features the original work of local artists Nicole Lewis, Al MacLeod and Thacher Carter.

“We are so excited to feature these talented, local artists’ original work. Nobody likes being put on hold, but this makes the waiting much nicer,” said Mardi Ford, community relations manager for GRH.

The Hospital had been contracting with a vendor from out of the area to produce the on-hold program using canned music for the past several years. Ford said she and Hospital systems analyst Mike Smith started brainstorming about the new concept nearly a year ago.

“That company has done a good job for us, but we had the talent and the technology to create and produce this in-house. Doing it ourselves allows us to put a special touch on what people listen to while they’re on hold,” Ford said.

In addition to the local music, the on-hold messages feature the voices of GRH employees sharing helpful health tips and information about Hospital services and providers.

This isn’t the first time GRH has sought out the local artist community to collaborate on a project. In 2009 Cory Peeke, Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University, and former art professor Kathelene Galloway, who passed away last year, enthusiastically worked with GRH and the GRH Foundation on an art gallery featuring local artists’ original work that is on display at the GRH Regional Medical Clinic, 506 4th Street, La Grande. In addition, a collection of three bronze sculptures by David Manuel, as well as two pieces of Galloway’s work, are prominently displayed in the main lobby of the Hospital.