When Music & Covid-19 Collide
NEMC Alumni Katie Turck ('96-97') On the Front Lines of Covid-19
NEMC has had the pleasure of welcoming thousands of campers into our summer family. Recently we heard from one very special NEMC Alum, Katie Turck ('96-'97) about her incredible story blending her music background with her current role as a Nurse Practitioner along the front lines of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Please read about the incredible work Katie is doing with Massachusetts General Hospital and the new Boston Hope Music. Thank you, Katie, for all that you do! We are NEMC proud!
Greetings fellow NEMC Alumni!
My name is Katie Turck, and I was lucky to have spent part of my summers at NEMC in '96 and '97 (violin). I fondly remember those summers filled with campfires, laughing with new friends, getting snacks at the Canteen, and performing concerts in the Bowl.
Since then, I have become a nurse and now nurse practitioner for the last 15 years at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). As part of the Hospital Medicine team, I have been on the front lines of taking care of patients with COVID for the last year, along with our usual patients who frequently have varied and complex medical histories. We also must support our patients who are quarantined, disconnected physically and socially from family and friends, a situation demanding of caregivers but even more so to our patients.
Though music has and will always be a part of my life, I had not been playing routinely. But now my two worlds of medical care and music have come together in a way I could never have predicted.
In April 2020, Boston Hope Hospital opened as a temporary field hospital in the Boston Convention Center, designated to care for COVID-19 positive homeless adults. Amidst this extraordinary effort, Boston Hope Music was created as a partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital and the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) to support frontline healthcare workers by providing hope and building community. The program connects healthcare workers with music teachers through NEC for private music lessons. As an extension of the program, the NEC musicians also have provided "Virtual Bedside Concerts," to bring in music and hope for patients in a time that they are isolated and feeling lonely and vulnerable.
I've been fortunate to work with NEC's Luther Warren ’18, ’20 MM, and now Geneva Lewis '20, both exceptional violinists. On a personal level, reconnecting with playing has provided me great peace and respite from the intensity of the day's work. I've found that the lessons and practicing have provided me the escape and balance that I need — we all need — to get through some very trying times. My appreciation and dedication have deepened and brought me such joy to have that part of me feel "whole" again. Indeed, to have hope.