LOS ANGELES — A $1.5 million donation will allow Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to recruit and retain a full-time certified music therapist to work with patients recovering from life-threatening diagnoses.
Investor and film producer Gary Magness and his wife, director-producer Sarah Siegel-Magness, made the endowment gift on behalf of their family foundation to expand the capacity of the hospital’s Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program.
The program had been challenged to fulfill referrals from physicians, nurses, support team members and families due to limited funding and staffing, according to hospital officials, who noted that team members must prioritize requests to provide supportive therapy for patients with the most severe diagnoses.
The gift will enable the team to better serve more hospitalized children experiencing a wide range of medical conditions, according to Alexandra Field, manager of the hospital’s Expressive Arts and Therapies department.
“Philanthropic support like this gift from the Magness family helps ensure that supportive treatment services like music therapy, which complement a patient’s medical care and can have a profoundly positive impact on patients and families, are more readily available to the children who need them most,” she said.
Siegel-Magness and her daughter Camryn, a pop singer and actress who has toured with One Direction and Fifth Harmony, visited the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit to observe the impact music therapy can have on patients and families.
“Our family knows the healing power the arts, especially music, can have on a person,” Siegel-Magness said. “Camryn and I witnessed a music therapy session … and instantly, our lives were changed. We were so moved by the session. We both agreed this type of treatment should be available to any child who wants it.”
The Magness family lives in Colorado. Gary Magness is chairman of Magness Investment Group LLC, headquartered in Denver, and he and his wife are co-founders of Smokewood Entertainment. The couple’s credits include producing the six-time Oscar nominated film “Precious” and the film “Judy Moody and The Not Bummer Summer.”