Boston, Mass. — Musi­cians in rock bands lead unusual lives; touring around the country and over­seas, rehearsing, and per­forming for thou­sands of fans. It is no sur­prise that many insur­ance com­pa­nies see these musi­cians as an “at risk” pop­u­la­tion. Kristina Gross­mann of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ating class of 2008 has set out to change that with the cre­ation of her orga­ni­za­tion Rock for Health.

Gross­mann is the founder and exec­u­tive director of Rock for Health, an orga­ni­za­tion that is ded­i­cated to making health insur­ance avail­able and afford­able to musi­cians. The orga­ni­za­tion edu­cates artists on health issues, pro­vides nec­es­sary med­ical infor­ma­tion and is an advo­cate for musi­cians in regards to heath insur­ance cov­erage. She pro­motes the com­pany through the sale of mer­chan­dise such as t-​​shirts and sweat­shirts which bands wear on stage to show their support.

Grossmann’s atten­tion turned to health care in the music industry when, in the summer of 2007, she became ill while on the road with Warped Tour. She was forced to go to the emer­gency room of a nearby hos­pital and was dis­sat­is­fied with the care she received when the doc­tors and nurses assumed she did not have health insurance.

Health care and the music world have always been on my mind, but it wasn’t until this inci­dent that I really decided to do more research on health insur­ance in the music industry,” said Gross­mann. “A lot of my friends’ bands have had to pay thou­sands of dol­lars worth of med­ical bills. Many musi­cians in rock bands forego health care until sit­u­a­tions become desperate.”

During the fall semester of 2007, the music industry major founded Rock for Health. The orga­ni­za­tion began as an assign­ment to create a busi­ness plan in her music entre­pre­neur­ship class with Richard Strasser, Assis­tant Pro­fessor of Music.

This was the per­fect oppor­tu­nity for me to form Rock for Health,” said Gross­mann. “I had the careful guid­ance of Pro­fessor Strasser and learned the proper way to create a busi­ness plan and how to file appro­priate doc­u­ments with the gov­ern­ment. I learned so much in that class and am very grateful for Pro­fessor Strasser’s help!”

The com­pany is struc­tured around live music including touring, fes­ti­vals and shows. Gross­mann works with dif­ferent insur­ance and health ben­efit com­pa­nies to come up with afford­able plans for musi­cians. Rock for Health is also working to form part­ner­ships with nutri­tional com­pa­nies to send bands out on the road equipped with care pack­ages full of immu­nity vit­a­mins and supplements.

Rock for Health is presently on the road with Warped Tour; a two-​​month tour with more than 100 bands. The tour travels to 46 cities in the United States and Canada. The orga­ni­za­tion has a booth where it pro­vides infor­ma­tion and sells mer­chan­dise. Gross­mann also works with all of the bands on the tour to assist musi­cians with signing up for health coverage.

I have so many goals for Rock for Health,” Gross­mann added. “The orga­ni­za­tion seeks to edu­cate artists on health issues such as pre­ven­ta­tive health ser­vices, social occu­pa­tional and mental out­reach, as well as pro­vide nec­es­sary med­ical infor­ma­tion. In the future I would like to raise funds to sponsor research on musician-​​related ill­nesses such as an ear, nose, and throat doctor studying a singer’s vocal chords. Rock for Health will also sponsor tours, ben­efit shows and donate money to artists who find them­selves in dif­ferent health binds.”

Cur­rently Gross­mann works as an artist and reper­toire (A&R) coor­di­nator at Uni­versal Records. She credits her pre­vious co-​​op with the com­pany for opening the doors to a full-​​time job which she began upon graduating.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.