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Health Information Rush Staff Takes Center Stage

Inside Rush University Medical Center, members of the staff perform everything from research to surgery. Many perform outside of Rush as well — but not in laboratories or operating rooms. Here are a few who can be found either on a stage or just behind it. 

William Hayden, MD 

"If your group is performing well, good things happen," says William Hayden, MD, a critical care pediatric specialist and associate chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics at Rush. "That's true if you're in a band or if you're part of a health care team."

For Hayden, good things have been happening ever since he first picked up a guitar 10 years ago. At age 58, he quickly became enthralled with strumming chords and developing a new technical skill. He met like-minded musicians in his guitar class, and together they formed the group Third Sunday.

"This belief that kids learn easier and better is a myth," he says. "I'm here to show you that anyone who is driven can learn how to play music."

Melissa Scales, RN 

It doesn't bother Melissa Scales, RN, a 2008 graduate of the Rush University College of Nursing, that she has never taken a single drum class. Nor does she care that her technique isn't perfect. Since the day in college when a friend lent her his drum set, Scales has embraced drumming with gusto. She taught herself to play and is now part of a cover band, June Carter Clash and the Tex Pistols, which plays at local bars.

"We're sort of a mash-up of country and punk," says Scales, a medical-surgical nurse at Rush, who enjoys great camaraderie with her bandmates — both on stage and off.

Paul Carvey, PhD 

Writing is part of a researcher's job description. But while grant proposals and journal articles are the norm, Paul Carvey, PhD, may be one of the few scientists who has written a musical. Carvey, whose research at Rush on Parkinson’s disease is widely published and highly esteemed, penned The Secret of Insignificance as a tribute to his love of musical theater and his vision of how politics should be.

Although he never received formal training, Carvey has long been a student of the theater. For decades he and his wife, Jane, have been part of the Palos Village Players in Palos Park, Ill. While Jane directs, Paul has produced, scored and created effects for numerous shows.

"I love working behind the scenes," he says. "When the curtain goes up, there's just something magical about seeing it all come together."

Carvey, whose play The Secret of Insignificance enjoyed a two-week run at a community theater, serves as the dean of the Graduate College at Rush University.

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