Provider's newest feature, 20 To Watch, highlights some of the most caring, committed, and compassionate up-and-coming leaders in long term and post-acute care. Ostercamp_1 for website profile.jpg

In order to bring further--and much deserving--attention to these individuals, we will post discrete profiles of each honoree on this site during the next few months. They will include informative links and additional background on the individuals, each of whom were originally featured in the January 2013 print issue.

Whitney Ostercamp, MA, MT-BC

Music has many therapeutic benefits for long term care residents, but it is important to recognize the distinction between listening to music and music therapy, explains Whitney Ostercamp, music therapist at Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Taylorsville, N.C., and 20 To Watch honoree.

"Music therapy is provided only by a credentialed music therapist who has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in music therapy, six-month internship, and successfully passed a national board exam given by the Certification Board for Music Therapists," says Ostercamp.

Ostercamp's commitment to the profession, as well as her love of elders, is apparent. Indeed, she proudly tells Provider that she has successfully educated her fellow staff members about music therapy and its benefits. "They're advocates now," she says.

​An array of of music therapy interventions is available to residents at Valley, including sing-a-longs, music bingo, and participation in music therapy groups.

"Whitney's contribution to Valley has been incredibly valuable," says Sandra Loftin, Valley's administrator. "She has been inspirational in developing a wide range of music programs since she has been here." 

In addition to developing a program for the ventilator residents, Ostercamp has also reinvigorated the Tone Chime Choir, which performs for other residents, families, and guests at least three times per year, Loftin says.

"Music therapy is an intervention that can be listed as part of a resident's care plan," says Ostercamp. "For example, if short- or long-term memory deficits are present and Alzheimer’s disease is listed as a concern, one of the interventions to help target that goal is music therapy. I will also write a music therapy treatment plan with specific music therapy goals and objectives that will reflect work toward that problem identified on the care plan. Once these goals are established, I choose the best music therapy interventions and implement them within the sessions. Session notes are then documented in the medical records."

Ostercamp loves music and she loves to perform, but becoming a music therapist meant that she could use her musical abilities to help others. "We all know that music has an effect on the human body, and I was interested in understanding the science behind how and why," she says.

The program has expanded so quickly in the last twelve months under Ostercamp's direction that Valley is now seeking a second full-time music therapist, Loftin notes.

"Whitney will be someone we all will want to watch as she moves forward in her passion to provide music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs," she says.

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