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Dr. Phillips Center supports Stroke Survivors and their recovery through Creative Music Making

STROKESTRA wraps up three-day residency alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, AdventHealth and Florida Blue Foundation.

Dr. Phillips Center supports Stroke Survivors and their recovery through Creative Music Making

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts expanded the STROKESTRA program this May bringing together more than 20 stroke survivors, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), AdventHealth clinicians and local musicians.

The stroke rehabilitation program aims to provide accessibility and patient-led recovery through the power of collective creative music-making.

“A lot of people don’t understand what we went through. It’s like we are in a land of forgotten," a participant shared with the arts center. “But you all didn’t look at us like we had a stroke and gave us a chance. You made us feel like humans again – like people. Thank you for believing in us and making us believe in ourselves again.”


STROKESTRA requires no prior musical experience and rehabilitation depends on individual patient needs – including physical therapy, communication, social therapy and mood-lifting.

“It’s always been about building up this program and offering more frequent opportunities for participants,” says Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of Dr. Phillips Center. “Since before we opened our doors, we’ve been seeking opportunities to serve our community through arts & wellness initiatives and it's a priority to grow this department over the next five years.”


This year, community sessions were held at Dr. Phillips Center and inpatient sessions at AdventHealth Winter Park’s neurological rehabilitation unit. The program closed with an awe-inspiring performance with nearly 30 participants.


“The last two years of STROKESTRA have been incredibly rewarding for our clinicians and stroke survivors in the community,” says Rich Moats, director of integrative and creative arts therapies at AdventHealth. “And now, to expand this amazing program directly into the hospital, it affirmed what our music therapists see daily - music forges connections and lifts the spirits of our patients.”


This residency allowed Nolan Williams Jr. to immerse himself in the program as he will assume the artistic director role, under the leadership of arts and wellness director, Alana Jackson. Connected through his love of the arts and his personal experience of seeing his father suffer a stroke nearly 20 years ago, Williams plans to bring additional artistic elements to the program.


STROKESTRA is supported by AdventHealth, the American Friends of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Blue Foundation, the Pabst Steinmetz Foundation and the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation.

Dr. Phillips Center supports Stroke Survivors and their recovery through Creative Music Making

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