A recent Frontiers in Psychology study indicates that just 15 minutes in the recharge room at the end of a shift can reduce stress by up to 60 percent. “It’s been important to create interventions that have the durability to impact the PTSD that nurses and doctors treating Covid-19 are experiencing,” says Phillips.

One of the paradoxes of natural disasters and pandemics is that they can strengthen common bonds and transform human behavior. Collective trauma can breed a stronger sense of empathy and resilience. “This work has been intense, heartbreaking at times, and challenging, to say the least,” says Marshall. Phillips concurs. “Health care is a team sport, and success requires a network of stakeholders. Dr. Putrino was the catalyst for what I was doing with Studio Elsewhere, and I constantly see him push every day in a complex industry to bring relief to those that are suffering as quickly as possible.”

An incredible bond formed between Putrino and his team. “I’ve loved working with Jacob, Mirelle, and the rest of the crew on this project so much,” he says. “A group of unqualified people—unqualified meaning we had no business solving this problem, but if not us, then who?” he added. “I think that, for me, the best part of working with this team during the pandemic was that every few nights, at the end of a tough shift, we got to sit down together, have a glass of wine, and just connect: talk about all the ways that we could work together when the pandemic was over. In many ways, that very simple act—having a glass of wine with new friends—felt like the ultimate privilege during the surge because we were all so isolated from our typical social circles.”

Putrino’s gratitude is infectious. It’s no surprise that he and his collaborators are heroes to the health care workers they serve. “As an organization, I hope that we can reflect on how much growth we have had,” he says.

Phillips added, “Over the summer, when I was on site, we would estimate anywhere between 600 and 900 visits a day across all the rooms. Now, we’re working together to permanentize the spaces we created during the surge.”

This year, there’s cautious optimism about this pandemic coming to an end, yet its aftereffects will be with our frontline health care workers long after we’re all vaccinated. Mirelle and her team are working hard to bring more recharge rooms to public hospitals, serving at-risk populations, in partnership with the Greater New York Hospital Foundation.

2020 was a year of loss, and a lost year. Yet people like Putrino, Mirelle, Jacob, and their teams remind us that technology has a unique ability to convey a sense of “being there,” miles away from the assaulting effects of trauma. Virtual journeys can change mind and body for the better, even in the heart of a trauma center. Music powered by technology that heals isn’t new to Marshall, whose audio journeys resonate on individual levels. “It has been one of the most rewarding and important times of my life where my core belief that art is medicine has come to life,” says Marshall. In that spirit, he offers a rare opportunity to experience the healing sounds from the recharge rooms here.