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Arlene De Silva

Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition

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In her quest to improve quality of life of diverse populations, Arlene de Silva founded the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition (CMWC), the nation’s first community-wide recreational music making wellness coalition. CMWC was founded in 2009 by bringing together 30 members consisting of hospitals, universities, senior living communities, physicians, and musicians. Members are from the US, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.

CMWC’s mission is to promote a culture of wellness in diverse populations through evidence-based recreational music making, education, and arts engagement. CMWC actively engages older adults, caregivers, developmentally disabled, at-risk youth, veterans, immigrants, refugees, individuals suffering from mental health disorders and substance use, children and adolescents, high school/college students, and employee wellness groups, in Clavinova Connection and HealthRHYTHMS-two evidence-based recreational music making wellness programs.

Arlene has served as CEO of CMWC since its inception in 2009. Prior to founding CMWC, she served as CFO, COO, and CEO of the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, a regional non-profit organization serving older adults and caregivers. She successfully led a senior management team which increased the operating revenue of the organization from $13 million to $70 million within six years.

In 1991, she founded and directed Maestoso Chorus, an all-volunteer fifty-member choir which included members from Christian denominations, Jewish, and Muslim. The chorus accompanied by students of the University of Cincinnati College -Conservatory of Music performed during Christmas and year-end holidays for the Cincinnati community.

Arlene majored in accounting from Aquinas University in Colombo, Sri Lanka and holds a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music, London, England. She’s also a Remo, Inc. approved HealthRHYTHMS trainer.

She is the published author and photographer of two books of photos and essays on older adults: Faces in Aging, which features 60 older adults from the U.S., UK, Middle East, and Sri Lanka, and Life in Old Age, commissioned by the Swiss Department of Aging.

Since 2012, she’s been committed to improving the lives of refugee families and advocates on behalf of them at state and local levels.

Arlene was a Cincinnati Business Courier 2008 Healthcare Hero Finalist in the Innovation category for innovating COALA a training program for homecare workers.

In 2009, Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute awarded her the visionary leadership award for founding Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition.