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Wonderful World Awards to Feature PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Performance 9/19


The 6th Annual Wonderful World Awards presented by Beth Israel Medical Center's Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine will honor physician Marvin A. McMillen, MD, legendary musician Levon Helm, and guitarist and Beth Israel patient Andrew Schulman, announced Joanne V. Loewy, DA, MT-BC, LCAT, Director, Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine.

The honorees will be feted at a cocktail reception/silent auction fundraiser to be held on Monday, September 19, from 6 to 9 pm in the Nerken Family Atrium of the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center at 10 Union Square East. Individual admission ticket is $50.

The event will benefit the patient care programs of the Louis Armstrong Center.

With dancer/choreographer Mercedes Ellington as emcee, the program will open with a performance by the Broadway cast of Phantom of the Opera. Also performing will be trumpet great Jon Faddis, a 2009 Wonderful World Award recipient.

Dr. McMillen is the Director of Surgical Critical Care and Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Beth Israel Medical Center. A lifelong music aficionado and a strong advocate of music therapy, he has embraced music as an integral part of the healing environment in Beth Israel's SICU. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, he is board certified in Medicine and Surgery, and has practiced surgery and critical care since 1983. He was previously Co-Director of the SICU at SUNY Downstate, Program Director at Bridgeport Hospital, SICU Director at West Haven VA/Yale University, and Chief of Surgery at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

Levon Helm grew up with music at home and decided to become a musician at a young age. Widely recognized for his skills on drums, Helm is a multi-instrumentalist who was influenced by the wide variety of musical styles heard in his youth - country, blues, rock, jazz. The two-time Grammy winner, for his solo albums Dirt Farmer in 2008 and Electric Dirt in 2010, received a Lifetime Achievement Award as an original member of The Band from the Recording Academy, and the Artist of the Year Award presented by the Americana Music Association in 2008. He has also has succeeded as an actor in movies including Coal Miner's Daughter, The Right Stuff, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Shooter and In The Electric Mist. He is a cancer survivor.

Andrew Schulman is an 8-string guitarist who became critically ill and spent 6 days in a coma at Beth Israel's Surgical Intensive Care Unit in 2009. In gratitude for the extraordinary
life-saving care he received, he decided to volunteer as a visiting artist and has been playing there 3 days a week, since January 2010. He is a soloist and also the founder and music director of the Abaca String Band, a string quintet, and has performed at concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe.

The evening will feature a silent auction including musical, sport, entertainment and travel treasures, that will benefit the Armstrong Center's clinical services to those in need, including musicians and children with asthma as well as adults with COPD and heart disease.

The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, established in 2005, provides specialty treatments for patients with cancer, pain, among other diseases. The Center also specializes in the treatment of musicians and children with developmental disorders such as attention deficit and pervasive developmental delays. The Center expansion is based on the work of what began 17 years ago as the Louis and Lucille Armstrong Music Therapy Program at Beth Israel.

The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine is made possible by a generous gift from the David B. Kriser Foundation and through the estate of John H. Slade, directed to Beth Israel from hospital trustee Richard Netter, and with additional support from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. The Armstrong Center is located at the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center, 10 Union Square East, between 14th and 15th Streets in Manhattan.

For more information about the What A Wonderful World Awards, programs and services offered by the Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine, please call 212-420-2704 or check out its website at

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