The Blues Music Awards recently hosted an unforgettable celebration of music in Memphis, Tennessee, highlighting incredible talent and honoring the genre’s legends. Alongside the awards, the HART Fund brought the community together to support musicians in need by providing essential healthcare to musicians and their families. The event brought meaningful connections and emphasized the impact of blues music on so many.

We recently connected with Dr. Janice Johnston, Chief Medical Officer of Redirect Health, who shared her insights on the crucial role the HART Fund plays in the lives of blues musicians. Dr. Johnston has continued to show her passion for healthcare and dedication to the cause as she discussed her work at the event and the fund’s importance to her.

Q. Why did you choose to get involved with the Hart Fund and what does this organization mean to you?

A. The HART Fund is part of a greater organization called The Blues Foundation whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. I’ve always been a huge music fan, and in particular, I love the blues. The fund was originally designed to help musicians with the cost of healthcare, dental needs, and funeral costs. When I started to lead the fund many years ago, I decided to add proactive health screenings for musicians.

Q. Could you describe the types of healthcare screenings you provided at the event?

A. We offer comprehensive blood testing similar to what you’d get at your annual physical. In addition, we provide impressions for custom -made ear plugs to protect hearing and vision screening exam and eye glasses.

Q. How do you think events like these impact the community, particularly the musicians who may not have regular access to healthcare?

A. Musicians often are not insured or are underinsured and don’t end up getting the care they need easily, so these screenings are really useful to provide necessary medical services.

Q. Can you share any memorable moments or stories from the event that stood out to you?

A. Each year I host a health screening event at a bar on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s always seemed funny to host a clinic in a bar, but we have a lot of fun with it and love being able to make an impact.

Q. Are there any upcoming events or projects with the Hart Fund or other organizations that you are excited about?

A. The city of Chicago holds an annual Blues Festival that attracts around 100,000 people each year. This year we will be attending the festival to provide important health screenings that helps musicians prioritize their wellbeing.

Q. How can the community support the Hart Fund and similar initiatives to ensure ongoing healthcare support for musicians and artists?

A. The only way we can provide these services is through donations. The HART Fund can be accessed HERE where we always welcome donations of any amount. I also am very proud to be working with the Recording Academy’s Musicares, which does amazing work in the broader music industry and offers important services to artists. If you are looking to support or donate to Musicares, you can send to:

MusiCares Development
3030 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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