Just about everyone is aware of the new construction going on at Community Hospital in McCook. When it's finished, the hospital will be like a brand new entity, providing new hope and care for residents of the area.
At the same time, there's another project at the hospital that hasn't received the widespread attention that the new construction project has. It's a healing garden that will be located on the east and south side of the hospital during the final phase of construction and I believe it's every bit as important as the new rooms and buildings.
Being admitted to the hospital or accompanying a loved one is often a trying and traumatic experience. We go to the hospital because things aren't good. We're either sick or injured and the stress it places on us and our loved ones is substantial.
That's why the healing garden is so important. According to Ken and Marlene Foster, honorary co-chairs of the project,"The garden is designed to enhance physical healing by providing spaces for reflection and renewal ... a quiet place to mend the mind and soul. We are hopeful and anticipate the patients, their families and all visitors of Community Hospital, along with staff, will experience comfort in the garden."
There is still time to contribute to this wonderful hospital addition financially. It presents an opportunity for generous patrons to honor or memorialize loved ones by supporting beautiful spaces in the garden by naming one of the sitting areas, water features or unique patios that will be enjoyed by practically everyone who visits the hospital.
There are seven proposed areas and each one is different. Entering the garden from the patient corridor, you'll find the garden atrium, a welcoming patio with tables and chairs, bubbling fountains, a rimmed stone wall with bench style seating, lighting, shade trees and various shrubs and perennials.
A Butterfly Sanctuary can be viewed privately from inside the patient wing, featuring inviting habitats, aromatic pine trees and various butterfly attracting shrubs and perennials.
A seating area in the crossroads of the garden will be called Nature's Pathway and adjacent to that will be Fireside Haven featuring a stone gas fireplace.
Seating on the south side of the garden will be called Southern Retreat and will feature tables and chairs, a swirl fountain, a rimmed stone wall with seating and shade trees, shrubs, perennials and potted plants.
A central grassy area of the garden will be called Inspiration Meadow and at the east entrance you'll find Prairieland Patio.
Jim Ulrich, President and CEO of Community Hospital and Terri Shipshock, Executive Director of the Community Hospital Health Foundation have been major players in this exciting concept and continue to lead the way towards its completion.
I haven't been a hospital patient since I was six years old (knock on wood) when I was taken in to have my tonsils removed but that doesn't mean I won't be in the future and, when I have to go, I want every opportunity available to me to have a complete recovery. I think the healing garden adds significantly to that possibility.
This is a project the entire area should support and be proud of because healing is not only physical but emotional and psychological as well and the garden is designed to help us achieve all three.