Weekly Feature

2017-05-17 / Local News

Healing garden dedicated at Kenmore Mercy


The Rev. Matthew Zirnheld of St. Andrew’s Church blesses the new garden at Kenmore Mercy Hospital as the family of the late John Repetski follow behind him. The Rev. Matthew Zirnheld of St. Andrew’s Church blesses the new garden at Kenmore Mercy Hospital as the family of the late John Repetski follow behind him. Colorful flowers and plants now greet arriving patients, visitors and associates at Kenmore Mercy Hospital thanks to a donation made to the Kenmore Mercy Foundation by the late John M. Repetski in 2016.

On Friday, hospital officials and Repetski’s family gathered to formally dedicate and bless the Healing Garden.

In January 2016, a $2.3 million bequest was left by Repetski’s estate to benefit the hospital. According to the hospital, it’s the largest gift from an individual donor in the hospital’s 66-year history. The Foundation Board and hospital officials discussed the various options to honor the donation and decided on the garden.

“John was an avid gardener. This healing garden allows him to share his passion for nature with others who are seeking a serene space to connect with nature to find solace,” said Barbara Sawdye, Repetski’s sister.

Open to all hospital patients, visitors and community members, the 2,225-square-foot Healing Garden is located on the north end of the hospital next to the new Ambulatory Surgery Unit.

The garden features a variety of herbs, plants and flowers, each chosen with their therapeutic and calming effects in mind. Studies show that after a stressful event, images of nature help decrease blood pressure, respiration rate and brain activity, and improve moods, according to a press release.

“Our hope is that patients, caregivers and visitors will find healing and renewal amidst nature’s beauty, and that this space will be a peaceful haven, where strength and hope blossom,” said Susan Jandzinski, executive director of the Kenmore Mercy Foundation.

Jandzinski added that by thinking of better methods for meeting the patient’s needs, the foundation is also bettering their lives and the lives of their families.

“As patients go by or stop to take a look, hopefully the gardens will provide a sense of calm,” she said.

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