August 14, 2008
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.northeastern.edu.