Healing Arts

David Snellbacher is a Certified Clinical Musician - CCM, and has worked for El Camino Hospital located in Mountain View, CA since 2005. David provides theraputic music for the internationally recognized Healing Arts Program headed by Dr. Joshua Sickel, a pathologist at the hospital. The program has become something of a media darling, triggering stories in major newspapers, radio programs and a recent segment on Channel 5's "Evening Magazine." El Camino was referred to on the program as "the happiest hospital on Earth."

Dr. Joshua Sickel


Dr. Sickel, a part time standup comedian, founded the program in 2002. He wanted to make a difference for patients that are on edge coming into the hospital for sometimes life threatening problems. Dr. Sickel felt so strongly about making a difference he single-handedly rounded up a small group of musicians and comedians and seeded the program with $10,000.00 of his own money to kick start the program. Since the inception, Dr. Sickel has expanded the program adding closed-circuit TV channels featuring family comedy program and art coupled with music for relaxation and meditation. The program didn’t stop there, Dr. Sickel then brought in volunteers affiliated with Canine Companionship (Therapy Dogs International ) to visit patients. In order to qualify for this work the dogs undergo a rigorous training and certification process that ensures they meet high standards for obedience, are comfortable in the hospital setting and easygoing with patients. At the hospital the dogs perform tricks on command, allow patients to pet them, and sometimes simply snuggle a patient to bring comfort. Every time a patient's eyes light up when they come into contact with one of these pets, the volunteer sees how much love and healing pets are able to provide. This program is entirely volunteer-run and as such, neither requires nor receives any funds from the hospital or the foundation.

Dr. Sickel is quick to point out that the program is as much for the staff as it is for the patients. He also has brought in massage therapists to help the hospital staff to get through their stressed filled days on the job.

The program was so successful that the hospital reimbursed Dr. Sickel for his initial contribution and now provides funding to support the program. The funding comes from a combination of administration and foundation funds and covers approximately 24-hours of music per week. Dr. Sickel's goal is to increase the current number of hours to 40+ hours from public donations. If you would consider supporting this program, your tax free donation would be most appreciated.

How You Can Help
Support the Healing Arts Programs at El Camino Hospital 
If you would like to directly support the El Camino Hospital Healing Arts Program, please send your tax-deductible contribution to:

Healing Arts Program
El Camino Hospital Foundation
2500 Grant Road
Mountain View, CA 94040-4378.

Please include your name, address, daytime telephone and email address with your check made payable to El Camino Hospital Foundation. Please enclose a note to direct the funds to the Healing Arts Program. For more information about donations or volunteering for this program please contact the El Camino Hospital Foundation at 650.940.7154.  Dee

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