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October 18, 2007
Incorporating Nature in Hospitals
Hospitals still need to bring nature into the clinical setting. But there are a few trailblazing institutions as well as people like Becky Pape, CEO of Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in Oregon, who have become believers.
Indeed, only a curving bank of ceiling-to-floor glass separates patients undergoing chemotherapy at Samaritan Lebanon’s Emenhiser Center from a 11,250 square-foot Japanese garden. Designed by an award-winning father-and-son team, Hoichi and Koichi Kurisu
of Kurisu International, the garden boasts three gentle waterfalls and mature black pines.
“We now know that exposure to nature is not just a nice thing—it’s essential,” says Pape. “We’ll never build anything the way we did it before when it was all about technology. I’ve been completely converted. Before the garden, I would have bought a CT scanner
or the equivalent with a large sum of money, but now I think we have to marry the technology with an improved environment for patients and staff.”
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