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Creative Arts Therapies Staff

Cheryl Benze, MME, MT-BC, neurologic music therapist

Creative arts clinical coordinator

Cheryl BenzeCheryl Benze is the creative arts clinical coordinator. Originally from North Carolina, she earned a bachelor’s in psychology from North Carolina State University, a bachelor’s in music performance (music therapy) from East Carolina University, and a master’s in music education (music therapy) from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music. In addition, she has completed advanced training in neurological music therapy and Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) Level 1. 

An experienced clinician, Cheryl has provided music therapy to a wide variety of populations from early intervention to hospice. Her experience includes work with Duke University Medical Center Heart and Cancer Centers, Duke Hospice, Habersham Medical Center and Warren Memorial Hospital. She has provided services to self-contained special education classes and early intervention programs. She has supervised interns, practicum students and taught college classes.

Cheryl has presented regularly at music therapy, medical, professional and caregiver organizations. She served on the board of directors of the Southeast Region of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) for over 12 years, most recently as past president. She has served on a variety of AMTA committees and was also president of the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina.

Her interests include hospice and palliative care and pain management as well as clinical applications of Celtic/traditional music.

As creative arts clinical coordinator, Cheryl is charged with managing a talented and dedicated group of therapists to provide high quality patient care across UK HealthCare and developing new avenues of service provision and communication.

Fran Belvin, MA, LPAT, ATR-BC

Art therapist, Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital

Fran BelvinFran Belvin is a board-certified and licensed art therapist in practice since 1997. She provided art therapy to patients and bereaved family members at Hospice of the Bluegrass for five years, and in private practice has worked with individuals on issues such as grief, trauma, divorce and substance abuse.

Art therapy teaching experience includes graduate courses at the University of Kentucky and professional training for behavioral health providers at the Kentucky Division of Behavioral Health’s Kentucky School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies, the Kentucky Adolescent Substance Abuse Consortium, Ridge Behavioral Health System, Eastern State Hospital, Harlan Regional Health Care Center and regional Community Mental Health Centers.

She served as chair on the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Professional Art Therapists from 2008 to 2012.

Katherine “Katie” Goforth, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Kentucky Children's Hospital

Katherine GoforthA native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Katie earned her bachelor’s in psychology with a music minor from Western Kentucky University (‘06) and her master’s in music therapy from the Florida State University (‘08). She completed her music therapy internship at the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers. Before joining the UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital team, Katie served as visiting assistant professor of music therapy at the University of Kentucky, where she taught classes related to the foundations, principles and clinical skills in relationship to music therapy.

Katie’s clinical experience includes the coordination of the music therapy program at Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., where she developed the music therapy internship program in partnership with the Florida State University. During her time at Wolfson, Katie was responsible for the implementation of the Pacifier Activated Lullaby device in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and she received the Distinguished Caregiver Copper Pin Award for excellence in patient and family-centered care. In addition to her experience in medical music therapy, Katie has also worked extensively with children who have special needs, leading group and individual music therapy session at Capital District Beginnings in Albany, N.Y., and at the Florida State University Multidisciplinary Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

Katie currently serves on the Kentucky State Task Force for Government Relations, a joint effort of the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists. She previously served on the Florida State Task Force for Government Relations.

Her research interests include neonatal music therapy, pediatric music therapy and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Jennifer Peyton, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital

Jennifer PeytonJennifer Jarred Peyton is the UK HealthCare music therapist for Markey Cancer Center and Eastern State Hospital. She received a bachelor’s in music education from Louisiana State University and a master’s of music in music therapy from the Florida State University.

Jennifer has practiced since 2003 in medical, hospice, rehabilitation and mental health settings. She was the first coordinator of the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. She developed the music therapy program and was the internship director at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Fla. She has extensive experience supervising university practicum students and interns at hospitals, as well as at Big Bend Hospice in Florida and at UK HealthCare.

A published researcher in the field, Jennifer has taught college courses and regularly presents at national and regional conferences. In her private practice in Florida, she most enjoyed writing life review songs with end-of-life patients and their families. 

Jessy Rushing, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Senior music therapist, UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital

Jessy RushingJessy Rushing is the lead music therapy clinician and internship supervisor at UK HealthCare. She is also the founder and director of Edge Music Therapy, LLC. Jessy received a bachelor's and master's in music therapy from the Florida State University.

Jessy has worked at hospitals around the nation including Palomar Health, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and an internship at Scripps Health. She has served as the coordinator of the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy, supervised interns and practicum students, served on AMTA committees and assisted with research endeavors. Jessy has experience working with all age ranges from premature infants to end-of-life.

Jessy's other responsibilities include producing publications and presentations focusing on program development, music therapy with rehabilitation, eating disorders, premature infants, women affected by domestic violence, and medical music therapy reimbursement.

Sarah Timmons, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

On-call PRN music therapist

Sarah Timmons is the PRN music therapist at UK HealthCare. She is also an independent contractor doing music therapy throughout the Lexington community, working with older adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as children with special needs. She received both her bachelor’s in music education and master’s of music in music therapy from the University of Kentucky.

Amelia Ehmling, MT-BC, NICU-MT

On-call PRN music therapist

Amelia Ehmling is a PRN/on-call music therapist at UK HealthCare. Originally from Nashville, Tenn., she received her bachelor’s in music therapy  at the University of Louisville and completed her internship at UK HealthCare. She is currently pursuing a master’s of arts in music therapy at the University of Kentucky.

While Amelia covers many aspects of medical music therapy, she enjoys working in the NICU.