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Tarrant County musicians can qualify for health care through Sound Care program

Joshua Irwin of Fort Worth entertains the crowd on the covered patio with some live music before the movies start at the Coyote Drive-In in Lewisville, Texas, photographed on Saturday, October 29, 2016.
Louis DeLuca
/
The Dallas Morning News
Joshua Irwin of Fort Worth entertains the crowd on the covered patio with some live music before the movies start at the Coyote Drive-In in Lewisville, Texas, photographed on Saturday, October 29, 2016.

Musicians and music industry workers residing in Tarrant County now have the opportunity to receive income-based health care through a new program.

Hear Fort Worth, an initiative of Visit Fort Worth, and JPS Health Network have partnered to create Sound Care, which promotes health care options for those in the music industry. Sound Care offers musicians and their families access to preventive care and treatment as they continue to establish themselves in North Texas.

“We want to make sure that everyone is taken care of and has the opportunity to get health care,” Tom Martens, director of Hear Fort Worth, said.

Those who qualify for care will have access to physicals, screenings, blood work and other care except vision. Their families can also see a physician or a nurse practitioner and can get treatment at any JPS Health Network location in Tarrant County.

“A lot of people, once they get sick, it really puts a burden on them financially,” Martens said. “If we could get people to take these early steps to make sure they’re taking care of themselves and have some type of routine, we think this can help those dramatic costs they have in the long run.”

Sound Care isn’t only for musicians. Other music industry professionals, such as sound and lighting technicians, also qualify. After submitting the application, a JPS Health Network representative will interview the applicant and ask further questions. The process takes about 30 minutes, according to Marten.

Co-pays for care are on a sliding scale based on the applicant’s income.

The program launched in April 2024. So far, six musicians have applied and been approved for care, Marten said.

Daniel Alvarez is a Fort Worth musician and founder of NoiseRot, a talent booking team in North Texas. He said he found out about the program at a Hear Fort Worth Monthly mixer.

“The application process is rather easy,” Alvarez said. “The idea that an entry-to-pro-level musician can get medical support in an already competitive and not-so-lucrative career, I believe, is pretty fantastic.”

C.J. Serrato, who goes by Spcmn, is a producer, engineer and musician from Fort Worth. He said he’s happy Visit Fort Worth is going out of its way to help musicians from his hometown.

“Not every musician can afford basic health services, especially with how crazy the last few years have been,” Serratos said. “I’m proud to live in a city where something like Sound Care exists.”

Workers in the music industry interested in Sound Care can find out more information at Hear Fort Worth’s mixer and open mic on May 7 at Southside Preservation Hall.

Tarrant County musicians can apply for Sound Care online or in person at a JPS Health Network location.

Arts Access is an arts journalism collaboration powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, The University of Texas at Dallas, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.