When you’re visiting a loved one in the hospital, it’s nice to be able to bring them flowers.
That just got a little easier at , where a new “cutting” garden was recently planted.
The garden allows people to cut fresh flowers and bring them to patents. It’s a free service, and one that fits with , said CEO Tom Schmitt.
“A flower just brightens anybody’s day,” he said. “It’s a little thing that can make a difference in our patients’ experience.”
The garden was built using funds from the community, employees and a HealthEast foundation, said Jodi Ritacca, a HealthEast public relations specialist. Hospital officials haven’t found anything like the Woodwinds Cutting Garden elsewhere in the U.S., she said.
Woodwinds recently gave flowers (purchased elsewhere, as the garden is still maturing) to more than 60 patients at the hospital as part of a “vine-cutting” ceremony for the new garden.
Schmitt helped deliver the flowers, which come with a small vase. “I could see their eyes light up,” he said.
Woodwinds was built with an emphasis on the natural environment, Schmitt said, noting its large windows and the wetlands on the grounds.
The new garden program is "just a way to bring some of that natural beauty into a patient’s room,” he said.
Schmitt had the idea for the garden, which also builds on Woodwinds’ dedication to being an “innovative and unique” health care facility.
“That’s been there from the beginning,” he said.
The garden was appreciated by Cottage Grove resident Kay Lippert, who was walking the grounds last week with her friend, whose husband is a patient at Woodwinds.
“What a wonderful place for people to come to,” she said. “It’s calming. It’s comforting.”
While Schmitt said his wife does a bit of gardening, he’s more of a novice.
“People asked what kind of flowers I was handing out,” he said. “I said, ‘Pretty ones.’”