Healthcare workers have been shouldering a great deal of stress since the start of the pandemic. While many of us are enjoying more freedoms and starting to find hope with new vaccine availabilities, healthcare workers are still working around the clock to take care of patients along with their own loved ones and themselves. Nurses, doctors, physician assistants (PAs), and other HCPs have plowed through the darkest days of the pandemic to hold true to the Hippocratic Oath to help others. But who helps them?
Having worked closely with HCPs during his 16 years at Health Monitor Network, Ken Freirich was hyper aware of how healthcare workers must be feeling—and for the need to help them. It wasn’t long before he realized what he dubs an “undeniable calling” to write the anthem of frontline workers everywhere. In just a day, Freirich wrote lyrics to his song “Healthcare Workers Rock!” from the perspective of the heroes themselves. HCPs can call this their anthem because it speaks their truth, talking about their long days and nights while remaining empathetic. As the song says, which you can listen to at https://healthcareworkersrock.org, “…The real heroes are at home / Our partners, daughters, and sons / We miss each and every one / The world needs us now / So we are standing strong.”
In hospitals everywhere, workers have rallied behind the song as a way to help get them through the day. Dr. Joseph Varon, CMO of United Memorial Medical Center in Houston and frontline worker since pandemic day one said, “The truth is healthcare workers are at their breaking point. The stress of the pandemic right now is unbearable. The music and lyrics of ‘Healthcare Worker’s Rock!’ give us an emotional release that makes every day more tolerable. I’ve literally witnessed our workers humming and singing the song to help lift their own spirit and the spirit of others. I had a nurse cry when she was asked to be in the video, because it reinforced what a difference she’s making for so many.”
Dr. Varon and his team were some of the many healthcare heroes featured in the music video that is also helping raise funds for frontline workers. Every time someone shares the video, a donation of $1 will be made to #FirstRespondersFirst (up to $100,000). The national charity organization uses funds to provide resources to healthcare workers, such as childcare, mental health support, equipment, and accommodations. Freirich is working with this charity to make sure all HCPs get what they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
Now, Freirich is thinking beyond this song as he sets out to make the world a better place with the healing power of music. He started a new record label almost a year ago, Better World Records. The label will specifically focus on releasing music that has a positive impact on the world and is tied to projects with strong philanthropic beliefs.
The first band on the label is Random Acts of Kindness, which will feature a collection of musicians pulled together for various projects. This was the case for “Healthcare Worker’s Rock!” which included P!NK drummer Mark Schulman. “When Ken asked me to play on the track, I grabbed my sticks, asked my daughter to be in the video with me, and I jumped at the opportunity,” said Schulman. “I’m looking forward to helping spread the message and the video so everyone can celebrate the heroism of these amazing people.” Ken also pulled in GRAMMY Award-winning producer and mixer Scott Jacoby to produce and remix the song and GRAMMY Award-winner Emily Lazar to master the single.
Since the song’s initial release, doctors, nurses, EMTs, former COVID-19 patients, and loved ones have all expressed how the song has become their anthem, helping capture their experiences and feelings, while creating a positive and uplifting movement to help counter one of the toughest years in recent history. The song has even inspired some workers to create and share their own TikTok videos.
Ken plans to continue his global crusade to raise help and awareness for our healthcare heroes. “My goal is to have people all over the world hear this song so we can get HCPs the recognition they deserve and the song can become a valuable tool to support them all.”
To view stories of exactly the type of healthcare heroes Ken wrote his song for, then click here.