Emphasizing patient, family and employee centered care through through therapeutic gardens.
In late 2013, construction began on a second-floor garden at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. The intent of the space, situated just over the threshold of its Maternity Care Ward and Cardiovascular Unit, was far more than just aesthetics for aesthetic’s sake. The purpose was nothing short of therapeutic.
The story of this healing space has been captured in this film titled the “Heart of the Hospital”—a brief film with an ambitious goal: to offer a glimpse of how nature can be deeply incorporated into a hospital to improve patient care and outcomes, to gently transform the hospital experience, for patients, their families, as well as hospital employees.
The garden, named A Nature Place, is a study in modern, evidence-based therapeutic green design, built on a growing understanding of the healing power of nature. Since completion in 2013, the garden has been a haven for laboring mothers, recovering cardiac patients, doctors and nurses. At the same time, it has also served as a Nature Sacred Award study site for researchers to grow our understanding of the specific ways time spent in a healing garden impacts specific markers and aspects of health, including stress.
We’re excited to share this story, which features some of the physicians, nurses and staff who are finding renewal and strength in this garden—as well as the patients and family looking to combat stress in acute situations.
“We bring them into the hospital and we’re doing everything we can to make them better, but we’ve cut them off, from things that are equally as healing as a medication or a machine that might help them. Nature can be so healing to people and they don’t have that when they’re in a hospital room.”
-Bridget Martin, RN
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center