A recent post by Jared Green, titled, “In Boston’s Leading Hospitals, Nature is Part of the Therapy,” really caught our attention.
He blogs on behalf the American Society of Landscape Architects, and this report not only validates much of Deck and Patio’s own philosophy — that beautiful outdoor living landscapes can uplift the spirit — it goes beyond that to how such landscapes can be therapeutic.
With his permission, we are delighted to share below much of Green’s posting.
Before that, we should add that the hospitals in the Boston area are not alone in their beliefs that beautiful landscaping can help heal their patients.
The Norfolk Daily News, for example, reports that one of their regional hospitals added a pond and waterfalls for their patients for this very reason.
Closer to home, Michael Grosso, MD, Medical Director of Huntington Hospital, shared with us:
“That physical environment influences health has been understood for millennia. More recently, medical science has begun to work out the details of mind-body interaction, unravelling the complex relationships between the brain and body systems that mediate immunity, cancer, cardiovascular health and more. Needless to say, improving the physical environment requires attention to interior architecture and exterior landscape. Gradually, we are realizing that a healing environment is at least as critical as advanced imaging or surgical robots if we are to create the best health outcomes for our patients.”
As Huntington Station business people, we are delighted to add that Huntington Hospital was named in U.S. News & World Report as among the top 5 precent of all hospitals in New York state and the highest ranked community hospital in New York state.
Now, excerpts from Jared Green’s blog. Enjoy!
In the 1980s, Roger Ulrich discovered hospital patients recover faster and request less pain medication when they have views of nature. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, built on a former brownfield in Charleston’s Navy Yard, and MGH’s Yawkey Outpatient Center, both in Boston, seem to be guided by this essential finding.
At Spaulding, patients recovering from traumatic injury are rejuvenated by good medical care, but also sunlight, garden terraces, and views of the surrounding Charles, Mystic, and Chelsea Rivers. The hospital landscape is a multi-functional therapeutic space where therapists aid patients in the air and sun. In a tour of the 132-bed facility at the 2017 Greenbuild, Jeffrey Keilman, an architect with Perkins + Will and Sean Sanger, ASLA, principal at landscape architecture firm Copley Wolff Design Group explained how the facility heals, but is also one of the most sustainable and resilient hospitals in the country.
Spaulding picked this brownfield site in part because rehabilitating it would help tell the story of resilience to its patients. If a toxic place can become a place of healing, then a broken person can return to health stronger as well.
The LEED Gold-certified hospital — designed by Perkins + Will, with Copley Wolff Design Group and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects — has all the usual green building features, but its the extra, humane elements that make it something special — the custom-made sinks so that a patient in a wheel chair can more easily wash their hands; the tall wall of windows in the main rehabilitation room that offer views of the river; the light and views every patient enjoys from their rooms; the garden terraces with horticultural therapy spaces, as well as the gardens just for staff; and the multi-functional therapeutic landscape.
Check out Jared Green’s full blog, which contains a lot more helpful information on this important subject.