Back to articles

New Piano at Walla Walla General Hospital Blends Healing Music With Medicine


Walking through the lobby of Walla Walla General Hospital, you may hear the sweet sounds of the hospital’s newly-acquired grand piano. Monty Knittel, WWGH president and CEO, put forward a request to the community for a grand piano in WWGH’s newly-constructed hospital lobby in a recent Walla Walla Union-Bulletin article. The vision for the beautiful instrument was that visitors and employees alike could be blessed by the calming, healing sound music can provide.

With the assistance of two generous donors, the WWGH Auxiliary made it possible to purchase a black 1967 Kawai classic grand piano that now sits between the central registration desk and the Gift Shop in the main lobby.

The hope for the piano is that the hospital will be filled with the healing sounds of music to calm nerves and fill hearts. “Music has the ability to affect moods and impact stress levels. When our patients come into the hospital, it can at times feel stressful. Providing a calming environment has been shown to effect healing by decreasing stress, and we want to achieve that in our care environment,” says, Karen Kellar, vice president for patient care at WWGH.

The hospital is welcoming experienced pianists to partner with us to create an environment that restores peace, hope and health. WWGH would also like to extend an invitation for evening recitals to provide an opportunity for the community to enjoy the piano.

“Several patients have already commented on the music. Many have mentioned that the music is just another way they can see how WWGH cares about them and their experience — and we do!” says Kellar.

WWGH has spent significant resources in the past few years to improve the patient experience by remodeling many of the patient rooms and creating a more peaceful setting in which to receive care. The addition of the piano in the lobby is just one the most recent additions to the renovations.

All experienced and student pianists interested in contributing to the healing environment of WWGH’s hospital lobby may schedule a time to play by calling the WWGH Administration office at (509)-527-8000 ext. 1000.