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A Visit to Rockcastle Regional Hospital (Part 2)

Published 07-30-2010 10:23 AM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  

Yesterday I posted about a recent visit to Rockcastle Regional Hospital. That post focused specifically the growth that Rockcastle has experienced in the ventilator care program. Today I want to talk about the wonderful green space they have for patients, families, employees and residents. Last year, Jon Carloftis, a Rockcastle native and a nationally known landscape designer, created "The Healing Garden." From the pictures below you would never believe that this space was previously used as a parking lot! Now there are trees, flowers and water features. Hopefully my wife won't see these pictures and decide to do something similar! Another important aspect that is not apparent in the pictures is the safety equipment in the gardens. There are hidden telephones, emergency call systems and even respiratory therapy equipment. This way patients can enjoy the space without the worry of being too far away from the necessary safety equipment.

A second garden has a paved walkway that has trees, plants and even a gazebo with seating areas along the way. This half-mile path was created in 2003 and has big a huge success leading to the creation of additional green space such as The Healing Garden described above.  This area is referred to as the "Lambert Walk at Stewart Gardens". This garden was named in honor of the late James Lambert and the late Wayne Stewart who were on the Rockcastle Board of directors and they were very instrumental in the early development stages of the hospital.

There is also a vegetable garden for fourth year residents who want to plant their own vegetables. I thought this was a creative way to engage students.  I am sure these lessons learned by these residents will pay dividends to them in their futures. 

It was evident that Rockcastle Regional is focused on patients and families from a clinical perspective and a healing perspective. Their incorporation of green space and lush gardens provides a calm place that patients, families and employees can retreat to for respite. UK HealthCare is also incorporating the healing perspective into the hospital with our new, Arts in HealthCare program. The many forms of art are being used to create a healing environment and also to invite people to visit the hospital when they are well. This way when they have to come to the hospital in a time of need they will be more familiar and comfortable.

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