Aventura's Own Piano Man
November 17, 2011
The Piano Man: Accepting Requests at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center
Aventura, FL — Every afternoon at 3 p.m., the grand lobby of Aventura Hospital and Medical Center fills with the sounds of timeless songs thanks to a gentleman affectionately known as ‘Bertie’.
Retired New York attorney Bertram Friedlieb first touched the keys of the Aventura Hospital’s baby grand piano after a physical therapy appointment following knee surgery. Visitors heard the musical maestro and began requesting songs. With permission from the facility, Bertie dusted off his old music books and returned the following day. More than a year later, Bertie is an Aventura Hospital staple, playing fan favorites and jazz classics.
“I used to play at Nordstrom when I first moved down here, but when they stopped their live music, I had nowhere to play. Aventura Hospital was kind enough to let me tickle their ivories,” said Bertie. “I love the piano and I love to entertain people. It gave me a second lease on life and a purpose to my days.”
Most days, Bertie comes to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center to have lunch in the cafeteria before settling in at the piano bench. Armed with his music book, a constant companion, Bertie entertains patients and visitors alike while his wife Marilyn nods her head to the rhythm or naps at one of the comfortable couches.
His music has accomplished more than lift the spirits of family members visiting patients. Employees have come to love the music and the animated man behind the notes.
“Bertie comes alive when he plays, and I love walking by and hearing the notes as they flow through the space,” said Judy Newell, director of volunteer services at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center. “I’ve seen more than one employee stop and listen for a moment before returning to their duties looking much happier. That good mood only serves to help us give better care to our patients.”
Bertie is not the only community member coming to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center for regular entertainment. The hospital provides a wide range of classes, lectures and events for seniors looking to enrich their days. H2U, which stands for “Health Happiness You,” is community program offering a wide range of health and wellness programs, as well as a very active social calendar that includes yoga, zumba classes, aerobic exercises, dinner and theater field trips, and much more.
For more information on Aventura Hospital and Medical Center or H2U membership, please call 305-682-7000.