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We have since started a network of dental care and dentists who either donate their services completely free or for the minimum amount to cover actual costs. These services are available to horn players and vocalists as the dentists' time and case loads allow. Since 2001, this network of amazing doctors has grown to other states where we have found uninsured musicians who need help. These doctors have opened their hearts and their care to our musicians in times of crisis.
Since 1994, our Angel-partners at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center's Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund have provided pro bono medical care - to date, worth over five million dollars - to over 1,000 of our uninsured musicians. Their amazing generosity literally keeps jazz and blues alive.
It all started when jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie passed away in 1993: one of his last requests was that any jazz musician in need of medical care be treated for free at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. After Dizzy's passing, trumpeter Jimmy Owens made a musical tribute called 100 Trumpets for Dizzy at Englewood. It was there that the head of Englewood hospital said that they would honor Dizzy's last request.
Dr. Frank Forte, Dizzy's own oncologist, and Dr. Bob Litwick created a pro bono network of physicians and specialists who offered to privately treat the Jazz Foundations' uninsured musicians for free, along with the hospital's unprecedented commitment to provide operations and diagnostic testing and treatment. The Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund was born and has been the first completely free medical treatment partnership of jazz and blues musicians in this country. It is now a 100% donor-supported fund.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. Frank Forte and the heads of the famous Englewood Hospital and Medical Center – Jay Nadel, Douglas Duchak, Eddie Hadden and Mike Pietrowicz – for continuing to make this partnership possible.