Hospital’s garden grows path to healing - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Hospital’s garden grows path to healing

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Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008 7:21 pm | Updated: 12:08 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

 In times of uncertainty, a community needs a place of healing. A place of solace. A place of peace and quiet where meditations often bring answers to the questions of day-to-day life.

At Mercy Gilbert Medical Center our patients and their loved ones deal with uncertainties on a daily basis.

That’s why we are creating the Gila River Indian Community Healing Garden — a place where patients and their loved ones, employees and community members are invited and encouraged to find solace, serenity and reprieve.

The Healing Garden is the result of a friendship between Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and the Gila River Indian Community — two entities with a shared philosophy of surrounding patients, families and our community in an atmosphere of healing body, mind and spirit through the natural healing powers of the Earth.

When the Healing Garden opens this winter, it will be a space where physical and mental well-being can be achieved. Intertwined with pathways, gardens, fountains, benches and artwork, the garden represents life at every stage reflected through use of water, sunlight and natural foliage all working in harmony to provide a place of peace and contemplation. It will indeed be a place where patients, their families and the community can pause, reflect and heal.

The Healing Garden is an important part of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center’s Healing Hospital environment. We are proud to have been named the nation’s No. 2 healing hospital, as designated by the Baptist Healing Trust in Nashville, Tenn., for our first two years in operation. A healing hospital incorporates soothing physical surroundings, an integration of work design and technology and a culture of Radical Loving Care to provide patients with the best possible environment in which to heal.

We invite the community not only to visit the Healing Garden when it is finished this winter, but also to become a part of the healing now by purchasing a garden bench, a live tree, a leaf on the garden’s focal art piece the Tree of Life, an art tile that will face the hospital’s pediatrics unit, or a tile in the amphitheatre where guests will gather for education, recreation, entertainment or prayer. All provide opportunities to leave an uplifting message or commemorate a loved one.

We are truly grateful for the generosity and support of our friends in Gilbert and the surrounding communities, and we hope the Gila River Indian Community Healing Garden becomes a place where Gilbert comes for a reprieve.

Laurie Eberst is president and CEO of Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.

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