Custer Healing & Wellness Garden is place for community and patients to enjoy
The Custer Hospital Healing Garden is an oasis of nature designed as a place to gather with others or reflect on your own thoughts, encompassing the mind, body and spirit connection.
Open since May 2018, the Healing & Wellness Garden is 10,000 square feet of sacred space for hospital patients and the community.
The vision of Dr. Joy Falkenburg and others was to create a place for healing not only for patients of Custer Regional Hospital but also staff and community members. An oasis of nature designed as a place to gather with others or reflect on your own thoughts, encompassing the mind, body and spirit connection.
Dr. Joy Falkenburg, M.D. Regional Health Custer Hospital, says, “When you take care of patients, it’s a lot deeper than just giving medications or instructing them, it’s actually about mind, body and spirit and if we can attend to those needs we can make patients better quicker and we can also keep them well better. We wanted to talk about how we kept our community well. How do we create a gathering space, how do we create a sacred space where people can hold space for each other? And we thought a garden accomplished that well.”
The garden features (among other things) a waterfall and a fountain, there’s a playhouse for children and a large pergola that provides shade as well as seating, and a boundless number of flowers, shrubs, trees, and bulbs as well as a vegetable garden, with future plans to include students who can plant and consume the vegetables.
Many local donors got on board with the vision and donated time, materials, and money, so it’s truly a community space. They also rely on the community to help with upkeep.
The garden is visible from the hospital rooms and physical therapy space. Dr. Falkenburg says studies suggest that viewing nature helps people heal
“If you look at the data, they’ve actually done studies, they actually had gal bladder patients, that one faced the wall-no visual or anything and the other was able to view nature. They had reduced use of pain medications, shorter hospitalization stays, lower in the pain scale when they accounted for all other things. We know that T cells are increase by nature viewing,” says Falkenburg.
The scenic space is being utilized to aide in healing on many levels.
Falkenburg says, “One of our total stroke patients, that when therapy has been able to work with her, they would bring her out here. But we would also just bring her bed out and she’ll be propped up and sit in her bed and get the sunlight on her face – that’s healing you know, that’s real healing.”
Click here for the link for the Healing & Wellness Garden Facebook page.