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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards


Finalist in Influencer & Celebrity


The objective was to create a nationwide platform to thank the medical staff on the frontlines of COVID-19 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee through the power of music, celebrity and words of encouragement. Psychiatrists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City predicted between 25%-40% of frontline healthcare workers and first responders in the United States may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their involvement in the outbreak. Due to restrictions around social gatherings and physical proximity, coping mechanisms were largely unavailable for frontline workers. The platform needed to allow individuals nationwide to connect, share, and participate by sending thanks to VUMC, as well as healthcare workers in their life, for their endless work and dedication during the pandemic. 

Strategy and Execution

Gratitunes was created as a consumer-generated platform where individuals nationwide could visit a custom-built microsite,, to dedicate a song and send a message of gratitude to frontline healthcare workers at VUMC.

Nashville has long been known as “Music City”, a moniker highlighting its excess of recorded and live music. The music and arts community wanted to start a movement to thank the medical staff at VUMC and frontline workers across the country by lending their voice through the power of music. Gratitunes launched on March 30th, 2020, National Doctors’ Day, and continued with 30 consecutive days of live performances on social media and hundreds of dedicated messages of gratitude.

The program kicked-off with a performance and the first dedicated Gratitune by country-music superstar Brad Paisley on his personal Instagram account of over 1.8 million followers. VUMC selected Brad to kick-off the campaign due to his prior commitment and involvement with the hospital, his ongoing support of the local community, and his strong social following as an artist.

Over the course of the month-long program, over 80 artists dedicated a Gratitune on their personal Instagram page with a performance and words of encouragement, including Thomas Rhett, Sara Evans, Dustin Lynch, Lauren Alaina, Rascal Flatts, Walker Hayes, Jon Pardi, Maddie & Tae, Pat Green, Joe Nichols, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, Lady A’s Hillary Scott, Lauren Daigle, Natalie Grant, Amy Grant, Shane McAnally, Scotty McCreery and many others.

Songs that were dedicated on the microsite were added to a custom Spotify playlist, which was streamed directly to VUMC COVID-19 Assessment Sites and the Hospital to help lessen stress and anxiety, and lift spirits for both medical staff and patients. 

To share the message on a national level, influencers in the lifestyle, culinary, fashion, and fitness space posted to their social accounts about the campaign and how their followers could support, including  Hayley Hubbard, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Luke Pell, Amanda Mertz, Angela Lanter, Jason Tartick, Lauren Akins, and more. 

Expanding Gratitunes nationally, VUMC partnered with two-time Grammy award-winning artist Lauren Daigle and Musicians on Call, a nonprofit bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, for an exclusive six-song concert for doctors, caregivers, first responders, and patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Continuing his commitment to Gratitunes, Brad Paisley also surprised frontline workers during the virtual VUMC 2020 State of Nursing Conference to personally thank them for their work and gave an exclusive performance.


Over the course of one month, more than 80 musicians spanning multiple genres supported the campaign by sharing a personal Gratitune on their social media accounts while encouraging fans to do the same. 

Approximately 30 influencers also shared posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to launch the program reaching more than 10 million impressions. 

Thousands of personal messages were dedicated to healthcare workers on the Gratitunes microsite and to date, the program earned over 271 million media impressions, 12,184 website views, and 10,296 unique page views in 4 short weeks. The campaign also received 747,000 total engagements, including likes, shares, and comments, across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It reached a total of 13.3 million unique people across all social platforms. Artist content was viewed 16 million times (impressions) on social platforms. 

Thirty speakers and 14 iPads were donated to COVID-19 VUMC Assessment Sites and the Hospital to stream the Gratitunes Spotify playlist throughout the day. The playlist had over 5,000 songs added by individuals around the country.

Lauren Daigle’s special performance for VUMC in partnership with Musicians on Call was distributed to 19 pediatric hospitals across the country and broadcasted throughout their facilities reaching over 1,200 patients, families, and caregivers nationwide. 


Video for Gratitunes

Entrant Company / Organization Name

FlyteVu, Vanderbilt University Medical Center