New Patient Treatment Facilities Open At Johns Hopkins Voice Center Located At GBMC

-- Fender® Music and Voice Studio first of its kind in the region--

According to The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) approximately 1 in 3 people have their voice affected by some type of disorder. Additionally, 7.2% of Americans miss one or more days of work due to a voice problem and for professional voice users that percentage significantly increases.

For people who use their voice as a tool of the trade, being in tune with their “instrument” is crucial. Those with vocal disorder issues can now receive enhanced care with the addition of a new music and voice studio in the newly remodeled and expanded Johns Hopkins Voice Center located in the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center located at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC).

The studio is named after the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation that provided nearly $20,000 of musical instruments and audio equipment, including guitars, percussion devices and acoustic amplifiers.

The opening celebration marks the completion of the voice center expansion that includes an additional 5,000 square feet in patient treatment rooms. The expansion costs, amounting to $1.6 million, were covered with funding from the Milton J. Dance, Jr. Endowment, Inc.

Voice problems and disorders can occur in anyone and at any age. They can develop gradually or suddenly and may take months or years to fully recover. Among the most frequently seen professions with voice disorders are teachers, attorneys, sales representatives, receptionists, broadcast journalists, professional singers and actors whom even minor vocal problems can be devastating.

Lee M. Akst, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center and assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that symptoms of a voice disorder can range from hoarseness or a chronic dry, scratchy throat, a pitch/tone that is not pleasing, limitations in the ability to speak clearly, or periods of voice loss.

“When someone is diagnosed with a vocal disorder issue it is life-altering,” Akst says. “To have successful treatment a patient must be willing to partake in certain behavioral changes. They need not only medical support; they need education and at times emotional support. This new addition is essential in assisting vocal disorder patients in the healing for their problems by offering them enhanced treatment options and specialized voice therapy by a team of highly trained voice clinicians.”

Joseph A. Califano, III, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of the Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Surgery Center located at GBMC and professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that the new studio is a key step in enhancing the services of the GBMC site of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, which sees more than 12,000 patient visits annually.

“This renovation keeps us at the leading edge,” added Califano. “The Johns Hopkins Voice Center can further address the needs of individuals with vocal problems, including performing artists.”



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