Health & Wellness

Volunteer Brings the Gift of Music to Patients at Center for Hope Hospice in Scotch Plains

Chrissie Sloan of Westfield donated 50 iPhones to the Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care to provide patients with the comfort of music. She loaded curated playlists into each device.

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Chrissie Sloan has community service in her blood, including a long family history of volunteering for the Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care. Her most recent volunteer project won her the Girl Scout Gold Award for providing 50 iPhones, all loaded with music and the Face Time app, enough for every patient at the Center’s two residences to enjoy. Sloan is a member of Girl Scout Troop #40913 in Westfield and a freshman at Providence College in Rhode Island.

“I was thinking of ways to help people de-stress and researched music as beneficial for patients,” explained Sloan of her project, which she developed over a period of about 18 months and executed last summer. “I’m happy I could help such an amazing organization in this way.”

Her research led her to the non-profit organization with which her family has had a longstanding relationship. She worked on getting donations of iPhones and iPods to load playlists of various music genres, and hearing that the Center was looking into iPads for Face Time capabilities, she expanded the project to include that aspect. Face Time enhances communication by turning the devices into video phones.

Sign Up for E-News

AT&T donated 50 iPhones and family and friends donated additional devices, money and more than 300 music CDs so Chrissie could create and load playlists into each one. She made a variety of playlists that would appeal to listeners of different ages, from children’s songs to classic rock to jazz and American standards. The lyrics were all vetted for appropriateness, playlists were downloaded from her computer over the course of several weeks, and she then tackled the technological workarounds necessary to install Face Time specific to this particular use.

“It was definitely worth it,” noted Chrissie. “The Center for Hope Hospice genuinely cares about everyone who comes through their doors, from patients and their families to the volunteers, and it’s so rewarding to see how much they are all enjoying the music.”

Benefits of music in healthcare settings

Music has long been proven beneficial to patients in various long-term care settings. It reduces anxiety and patient pain levels, alleviates feelings of isolation and disorientation, and provides opportunities for terminally ill individuals to reminisce as well as open up about fears of death and dying. As part of its holistic approach to care, The Center for Hope Hospice has volunteer musicians come to sing and play for patients at Peggy’s House in Scotch Plains and Father Hudson House in Elizabeth.

“We are so grateful to Chrissie for creating this project, which is bringing so much happiness to our patients,” said Frank Brady, president of the Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care. “The individual phones enable each patient and their loved ones to enjoy music in a more intimate way and supports our mission to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those in our care.”

Making the Center for Hope Hospice a Family Affair

Three of Sloan’s grandparents received care at the Center for Hope Hospice and her parents, Bob and Marie are greatly appreciative of the comfort they received from Father Hudson and co-founder Peggy Coloney during difficult times. They also celebrated happy times there: Father Hudson married Bob and Marie at the Center chapel in 1991.

The positive impact the Center had on their lives was repaid in turn; the Sloans both served on the board of trustees and Marie joined the Auxiliary in 2001, serving in leadership roles and volunteering at the Hope Chest, the thrift store in downtown Westfield that supports the Center’s Charity Care Fund. As a youngster, Chrissie participated in the Auxiliary’s annual fashion show, she and her brother have volunteered at the organization’s 5K event, and the Sloans support the Auxiliary’s annual wine tasting fundraiser.

“The Center has always been a big part of our lives,” said Chrissie, “so we try to help out in any way we can.”

For more information about hospice and palliative care offered at the Center for Hope Hospice, or volunteer opportunities at its residential facilities, visit or call (908) 889-7780. Center for Hope is a non-profit, community based organization that provides terminally ill patients with hospice care, and their families or loved ones with physical, emotional, and spiritual support during their time of need. The Center actively supports the individual's right to live out the remainder of their life with dignity and in comfort, surrounded by the love of family and friends, and eased from the burdens of physical, emotional, spiritual, financial or social distress.​ Center for Hope welcomes all terminally ill patients, their families and loved ones without concern for race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or ability to pay. It also offers pain and symptom management for chronically ill and seriously ill patients through its palliative care program.

Center for Hope operates two facilities, Peggy’s House in Scotch Plains and Father Hudson House in Elizabeth, which provides more than $2 million a year in charity care. For more information, visit is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Update: Health Authorities Still Investigating Flu Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of elementary school student Daniela Genaro after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials said it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's passing."

In a second letter ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned People’s Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

Being Alone on Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with Hallmark cards, chocolate covered strawberries, red roses and special dining.  It’s a day to express our love and affection to those close to us.  Some of us have expectations that this day will be blissful, we may even receive that diamond ring that represents engagement or marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful time if ...

Bernards High vs. Union Catholic Girls Basketball Teams Face Off to Support Team Campbell Foundation

February 19, 2018

BERNARDSVILLE NJ - The Bernards High Mountaineers will play Union Catholic High School on Saturday, February 24th at 2:00pm at Bernards High in Bernardsville. The game will support the Team Campbell Foundation. 

Both teams are honored to be able to play in what will be Bernards High’s Coach Sandy Whelan’s sixth Gold Out game in seven years. Gold is the awareness color for ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20, 1:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Book Club @ Scotlib: The Japanese Lover by Isabel ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Tue, February 20, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Wed, February 21, 7:00 PM

Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains

Course on Biblical Interpretation Taught by ...

Education Religions And Spirituality