Music Health Alliance and Saint Thomas Health have launched the Ben Eyestone Fund, which aims to provide preventative and primary care for uninsured or under-insured music industry professionals in Davidson Country and surrounding counties in Middle Tennessee that earn an adjusted gross income under 300 percent above the Federal Poverty Level, who also show an obvious diagnostic need.
The fund was launched in memory of 28-year-old Nashville drummer Ben Eyestone, who died on July 12, 2017 after a delayed biopsy revealed he had advanced colon cancer. Eyestone was a drummer for artists including Margo Price and Nikki Lane.
The Ben Eyestone Fund is launching with $50,000 in contributions from Saint Thomas Foundation, Music Health Alliance, the Eyestone family and generous industry peers.
“He had what I believe to be the greatest pre-existing condition in Nashville,” says Music Health Alliance Founder and CEO Tatum Hauck Allsep. “He was a poor, uninsured musician. Ben tried to utilize the resources available to him at free clinics and two public hospitals but the healthcare system failed Ben at every single turn. The goal is to offer 100% access and get all diagnostics covered while eliminating all the same barriers that ultimately led to Ben’s death.”
“We are honored to partner with Music Health Alliance, an influential organization that helps to provide necessary care to the poor and vulnerable,” said Dawn Rudolph, chief experience officer, Saint Thomas Health. “The Ben Eyestone fund has the potential to save lives by eliminating access barriers in the communities we serve.”
“Ben was only 28 years old,” said Allsep. “Freddie Mercury was 29 when he wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Neil Diamond was 28 when he wrote ‘Sweet Caroline,’ Dolly Parton was 28 when she wrote ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and Paul McCartney was a few days older than Ben was when he wrote ‘Hey Jude?’ Think about the potential this young man had yet to discover. Ben Eyestone did not have to die, and this fund will ensure that no one else dies a victim of the same system that failed him.”
To learn more about the Ben Eyestone Fund and how to contribute, contact Music Health Alliance at (615) 200-6896.
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