NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 19, 2018) — The Ben Eyestone Fund, a joint effort between Music Health Alliance and Saint Thomas Health, announces it will provide a menu of services for preventative and primary care. The newly-created fund will serve un-insured or under-insured music industry professionals in Davidson and surrounding counties within Middle Tennessee earning an adjusted gross income under 300% above the Federal Poverty Level who show an obvious diagnostic need.
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.
As shared in The Tennessean, the fund is created in memory of East Nashville musician Ben Eyestone, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday last month. The drummer for alternative acts Margo Price, Nikki Lane and The Lonely H’s died on July 12, 2017; days after a delayed biopsy delivered a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. Referred to as an “untimely death,” it was a tragic and preventable passing of a rising star due to a healthcare system that failed him.
“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.”
As industry advocates, helping music professionals across the country gain access to affordable healthcare is at the heart of Music Health Alliance’s mission. The launch of the Ben Eyestone Fund furthers that mission by removing barriers to life-saving diagnostics and treatment.
“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,” says Allsep.
“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.