Wartburg Partners with the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a Leader in Music Therapy, Neuroscience, Research and Training


Patient with Dr. Concetta M. Tomaino

Wartburg, a senior residential and healthcare facility in Mount Vernon, NY, is partnering with the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) to provide innovative music therapy programs to residents throughout its 34-acre campus and advance neurological studies of music and the brain through research.

The Institute developed out of the many years of clinical work and research of renowned author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, MD and Dr. Concetta Tomaino, distinguished music therapist, who demonstrated that people with neurological problems could learn to move better, remember more and even regain speech when music was used in specific ways.

In 1995, under the leadership of Edwin H. Stern, III, Arnold H. Goldstein and the late Ben Rizzi, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function was founded to pursue this passion and this mission – to bring together the two worlds of basic neuroscience and clinical music therapy.
The Institute is world-renowned in the medical and scientific communities for its pioneering advances in understanding, teaching and clinical applications of music therapy. With the unique powers to heal, rehabilitate and inspire, Wartburg, in partnership with IMNF, will expand its music therapy program to its residents, Adult Day Care registrants and rehabilitation patients, particularly those with neurologic issues, a population who has been clinically shown to receive significant benefits from this type of arts-based therapy.

To provide the same benefits to the surrounding communities to those of all ages, IMNF will offer individualized one-on-one music therapy sessions to those living with neurological issues such as Aphasia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as children with developmental needs, in Wartburg’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Program. Held weekly, IMNF also offers a “Healing Music” program for veterans with traumatic brain injury, neurological issues and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“The move of the IMNF to Wartburg is an exciting prospect affording opportunities to bring our best practices in music therapy to the already excellent rehabilitation and long term care which Wartburg provides,” said Dr. Tomaino of the affiliation with Wartburg. “Our ‘Healing Music’ program for veterans with PTSD is already going strong with new participants from the Bronx and Yonkers VA system.”

Through a grant from The ASCAP Foundation, the IMNF will provide a “Music Therapy for Aphasia” program as part of Wartburg’s Outpatient and post-acute Rehabilitation Programs. In addition, with innovative technology developed by the Biodex Company, the IMNF will research the impact of music therapy on gait rehabilitation for improved mobility in persons with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Tomaino said, “Knowing the commitment of Wartburg’s President and CEO, David Gentner, to innovative models of care to enhance health and quality of life for seniors, the move of the IMNF to the Wartburg campus is the perfect fit and will enable us to better fulfill our mission to advance clinical music therapy practice through systematically researching the impact of music on neurologic function.”

Dr. Tomaino, named one of the “Disruptive Women in Healthcare–Leader to Watch in 2017,” is often invited to speak nationally and abroad about her research and the benefits of music therapy. She recently returned from Italy where she was part of consortium discussing the interplay between cognitive and motor rehabilitation in those living with Parkinson’s disease and is scheduled to speak in Scotland and Portugal in spring 2018. Dr. Tomaino is working with Lehman College in the Bronx, NY, where she is an adjunct professor, and Concordia College in Bronxville, NY, to create a music therapy program for their undergraduate students.

Through their “Music Therapy Professional Practice,” IMNF offers professional consultations and program advisement on the use of music therapy in the treatment and rehabilitation of a broad spectrum of neurological conditions as well as share expertise through workshops on new music therapy advances and protocols that have been proven to be effective for specific disorders.

David J. Gentner, Wartburg President and CEO said, “This is one of the most inspiring affiliations for Wartburg in recent memory. I’ve been an admirer of the influence the Institute has had on neurologic research for many years and to now have an opportunity to work with Dr. Tomaino to establish best practice models within Wartburg’s portfolio of services is truly exciting.”

About Wartburg
Wartburg, located in Westchester County, NY, offers integrated, comprehensive senior residential and healthcare services. Unlike conventional retirement communities, Wartburg provides a wide range of services to both residents living on their beautiful 34-acre campus and people in their own homes. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, their continuing care approach has earned them a trusted reputation in Westchester. Wartburg also provides caregiver support at every stage with an array of options to find the level of care that considers the whole family. Most recently, Wartburg received the 2016 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and the 2015 Legacy Award from the Westchester County Chapter of the Links. In addition, Wartburg was named one of the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State” by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year in 2017.

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About IMNF
The IMNF is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Founded in 1995, the IMNF is driven by over 35 years of clinical observations on the actual effects of music on individuals who have different types of physical and neurological disorders. Directed by renowned music therapist Dr. Concetta M. Tomaino, the IMNF conducts research on the relationship between music and the brain, provides patients with music therapy, and offers our professional peers around the world the latest music therapy education and training information about best practices. Through the scientific exploration of music and the brain, the IMNF seeks to establish new knowledge and to develop more effective music therapy treatments to awaken, stimulate and heal through the extraordinary power of music.

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Media contact:

Angela Ciminello, Vice President of Development and Marketing, Wartburg

Dr. Concetta Tomaino, Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, 914-513-5292,

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