The Johns Hopkins Voice Center located at Greater Baltimore Medical Center's (GBMC) Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head & Neck Surgery Center is hitting the right notes as it mends damaged voices with a little help from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
The Voice Center diagnoses and treats people of all ages dealing with voice disorders. And you don't have to be Steven Tyler or Tony Bennett to seek care, either. Patients include teachers, attorneys, sales representatives and receptionists, in addition to broadcast journalists and professional singers — all of whom can find even minor vocal problems to be devastating to their careers.
The Voice Center underwent a $1.6 million expansion last year, financed through the Milton J. Dance Jr. Endowment. The expansion included 5,000 square feet of patient exam rooms, as well as the Fender Music and Voice Studio, equipped with musical instruments and audio equipment donated by Fender. The studio has been a big hit with patients and staff alike.
"It's so comfortable for professional singers when they come in to work on their voice to have state-of-the-art acoustical and laryngeal imaging equipment combined with top-of-the-line musical equipment," said Barbara Messing, administrative-clinical director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center's location at GBMC.
"Singers and musicians are able to rehabilitate in familiar surroundings with studio-like accommodations that are less clinical and more comfortable," added Dr. Kenneth Charles Fletcher, director of laryngology at GBMC. "All patients with voice problems have access to this approach, so that the opera singer and the classroom teacher can benefit from this ideal method of assessment and management."
With more than 12,000 annual patient visits, the Voice Center has helped a lot of people get back in tune. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, one in three people have their voice affected by some type of disorder.