Researchers to Investigate Benefits of Therapeutic Gardens on Hospital Patients, Families and Staff at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

Researchers to Investigate Benefits of Therapeutic Gardens on Hospital Patients, Families and Staff at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

<0> Legacy HealthAmber Shoebridge, 503-413-2939Cell: 503-704-0916 </0>

Patients, families, staff and researchers will benefit from a new therapeutic terrace garden near Family Birth Center and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. has awarded a $560,000 grant to fund the space, conduct clinical-outcome research about the benefits of therapeutic gardens and contribute to the body of knowledge in evidence-based design.

Representatives from the local chapters of the and the , past patients, their family members and Legacy Emanuel clinical staff were involved with the planning of the garden and research studies.

Following completion of the garden, three studies will investigate its impact:

“The project is innovative and exciting. Benefits of the new hospital garden at Legacy Emanuel will be evaluated by scientific studies that generate important knowledge about the value of gardens and nature for patients, families and health care workers,” says professor of architecture, Chalmers University in Sweden and principal investigator. “This will be the first time that benefits of a calming, beautiful garden are studied for hospital users in a serious in-depth way.”

Dr. Ulrich will collaborate closely with director of clinical research at Legacy Research Institute on research design, development and evaluation. professor of health psychology, in Oregon, will lead graduate students in support of the family study.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about receiving the funding that will provide the research infrastructure and expertise to support this important project," said clinical vice president of research for Legacy Health. “Measuring the outcomes of innovative and transformative care delivery is one key part of the mission of ."

Funds for this project were provided by the TKF Foundation as part of the National Nature Sacred Awards Program. The mission of the TKF Foundation is to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by inspiring and supporting the creation of public green space that offers a temporary place of sanctuary, encourages reflection, provides solace, and engenders peace and well-being.

“Patients, families, and staff in obstetrics and intensive care often face extremely stressful situations and unsettling outcomes. The opportunity to enter a quiet healing space can be very important to the well-being of each of these groups,” says Legacy Emanuel’s chief administrative officer.

The new 6,800-square-foot therapeutic garden will feature:

• Destination places to provide privacy for stress management, restoration and reflection

• Perimeters created by arbors, a water wall and four seasons of specially selected garden plants

• Wind sails and covered areas to protect from sun, rain and wind

• A children’s activity area

Construction of the garden is planned to begin in August 2013 with completion three to six months later. The public can visit for a , progress reports and more information.