Skip to main content
Foundation story

Providing environments for healing and connection

Published on Wednesday May 24, 2023
Healing garden

Your support provides optimal healing environments – indoor and outdoor. Unique outdoor spaces enhance the patient experience, are part of a holistic approach to care, are mindful of the community and help Caregivers recharge. 

Upgrades have been made recently to areas around Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center and Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital. In addition, Centra’s new emPATH unit will break new ground with an outdoor wellness area.


With your support, the area behind Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center is blooming with calming spaces for healing, connection and rest. 

Updates to the wellness area include a vegetable garden, weatherproof benches, a new sidewalk and a pollinator garden. Patients, families and Caregivers recharge in the beautiful scenery. 

The benches and area are “a way to provide a quiet, serene experience for patients when they come for treatment,” said Molleigh Creammer, oncology community operations manager. “It’s also additional space for family members to sit while they are waiting for their loved one to receive treatment or ring the bell to mark a milestone. Not only has this enhanced the patient experience, it has been great for our community.”

At Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital, new greenery, including shrubs, perennials and a tree to replace one that was damaged in a storm, are recent additions to the Stanhope Johnson Memorial Garden. The garden was established in the 1970s and is where many patients, visitors and Caregivers go when they need a respite or want to enjoy the beautiful historic grounds.  

It’s all part of a holistic approach to care. Centra’s Modernization Plan also takes the outdoor environment and views into consideration. 

“Outdoor spaces are more than beautiful places,” said Tiffany Niide, MD, PhD, CPE, medical director clinician wellness and engagement for Centra Medical Group. “Research shows that spending time in calming, natural environments is therapeutic. It reduces stress and anxiety and promotes healing. Spaces such as these can be soothing in the midst of challenges.” 

Thanks to donor support, Centra is an innovative leader in this area of wellness. 

The new emPATH (Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment and Healing) unit at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital that is under construction and scheduled to open later this year will include a calming, secure outdoor area.

“We will have the first emPATH unit that we know of with an outdoor space,” said James Bryant, RN, DNP, CEN, CPEN, NEA-BC, vice president of emergency services. “We are well ahead of the curve thanks to the vision and support of donors and the Foundation.”   

Make a gift