Family Comfort Garden provides rest, reflection space close to labor and delivery at Norton Hospital

Studies have shown that having a connection to a natural environment and access to daylight can improve health.

Patients and family members on the third floor of Norton Hospital have a new outdoor space where they can go to relax, meditate or enjoy the company of family members. This floor is home to the hospital’s labor and delivery and postpartum units, as well as part of the Norton Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care and medical/surgical units. In addition, the space offers employees a place of respite from their daily activities.

Studies have shown that having a connection to a natural environment and access to daylight can improve health.

The labor and delivery unit at Norton Hospital in downtown Louisville welcomes more than 2,300 babies a year. On average, more than 180 mothers a month spend time in this unit which is connected by pedway to Norton Children’s Hospital. Many mothers experiencing high-risk pregnancies are transferred to the unit for childbirth so that their newborns may receive the highest level of care. During these situations, having easy access to the outdoors, such as in the new Family Comfort Garden, becomes even more important.

Norton Healthcare Foundation

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“Being in the hospital is never fun, but right now it gives you a sense of normalcy,” said expectant mother Cheyenne Mercer. “Right now with the pandemic going on, it gives you a reason to get a breath of fresh air and see some daylight.”

The space was funded with a nearly $250,000 grant from the Norton Healthcare Foundation. This included funding received from employees through a systemwide combined giving campaign.

“I hope that this provides a little bit of comfort to patients who are here and gives some respite in an urban environment,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “This particular space is a great place to be able to reflect and meditate in a green space with light.

“This is one of the many gardens we’ve funded throughout the system as we support the mind, the body and the spirit for every patient who comes to Norton Healthcare.”

The Family Comfort Garden features:

  • Sculptural artwork
  • Decorative teak wall panel
  • Shade sails
  • Landscape art
  • A “green wall” of vertical plantings with a variety of succulent-type plants
  • Decorative pergola/trellis

Physically distanced seating for individuals, and table, group and bench seating for families

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