NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 18, 2018) — The Ben Eyestone Fund, a joint effort between Music Health Alliance and Saint Thomas Health, announces it will provide a menu of services for preventative and primary care (application here). The newly-created fund will serve un-insured or under-insured music industry professionals in Davidson and surrounding counties within Middle Tennessee earning an adjusted gross income under 300% above the Federal Poverty Level who show an obvious diagnostic need.
The Ben Eyestone Fund is launching with $70,000 in contributions from Saint Thomas Foundation, Music Health Alliance, the Eyestone family and generous industry peers including Dierks Bentley, Elizabeth Cook and Yazoo Brewing Company.
As shared in The Tennessean , the fund is created in memory of East Nashville musician Ben Eyestone, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday last month. The drummer for alternative acts Margo Price, Nikki Lane and The Lonely H’s died on July 12, 2017; days after a delayed biopsy delivered a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. Referred to as an “untimely death,” it was a tragic and preventable passing of a rising star due to a healthcare system that failed him.
“He had what I believe to be the greatest pre-existing condition in Nashville,” says Music Health Alliance Founder and CEO Tatum Hauck Allsep. “He was a poor, uninsured musician. Ben tried to utilize the resources available to him at free clinics and two public hospitals but the healthcare system failed Ben at every single turn.”
As industry advocates, helping music professionals across the country gain access to affordable healthcare is at the heart of Music Health Alliance’s mission. The launch of the Ben Eyestone Fund furthers that mission by removing barriers to life-saving diagnostics and treatment.
“The goal is to offer 100% access and get all diagnostics covered while eliminating all the same barriers that ultimately led to Ben’s death,” says Allsep.
“We are honored to partner with Music Health Alliance, an influential organization that helps to provide necessary care to the poor and vulnerable,” said Dawn Rudolph, chief experience officer, Saint Thomas Health. “The Ben Eyestone fund has the potential to save lives by eliminating access barriers in the communities we serve.”
“Ben was only 28 years old,” said Allsep. “Freddie Mercury was 29 when he wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Neil Diamond was 28 when he wrote ‘Sweet Caroline,’ Dolly Parton was 28 when she wrote ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and Paul McCartney was a few days older than Ben was when he wrote ‘Hey Jude?’ Think about the potential this young man had yet to discover. Ben Eyestone did not have to die, and this fund will ensure that no one else dies a victim of the same system that failed him.”
To learn more about the Ben Eyestone Fund and how to contribute, contact Music Health Alliance at (615) 200-6896. Link to Ben Eyestone Fund Application
About Music Health Alliance
As advocates, Music Health Alliance fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a health crisis. The seven-person team at Music Health Alliance remove obstacles so patients can receive lifesaving care. Thanks to the direct efforts of Music Health Alliance, members of the music community across the country have gained access to lifesaving heart and liver transplants, medications to treat Parkinson’s, end of life care and many other necessary services. In its first five years of service, Music Health Alliance has saved over $30 million in medical bills and reduced premiums and served over 8,000 people in the music community. Its services are free to any person who has worked in the music industry for two or more years, or who has credited contributions to 4 commercially released recordings or videos. Spouses, partners, and children of qualifying individuals may also receive access to the non-profit’s services from birth to end of life.
ABOUT SAINT THOMAS HEALTH
In Tennessee, Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $92 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2017. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.
Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2017, Ascension provided more than $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 150,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.