With the help of a grant from the Junior League of Lexington, Cardinal Hill Hospital created a Therapeutic Garden in 2006. The goal was to create an area where patients and their families could enjoy being outdoors and a place therapists could bring patients that would expand the traditional opportunities for rehabilitation.
Soon after its inception, it was evident that the therapists would benefit from more extensive education on gardening. They wanted to offer the most accurate and thorough information possible to their patients.
In stepped the Fayette County Master Gardener Association. Through a partnership with Master Gardener volunteers, Cardinal Hill created an education program which taught occupational, physical, and speech therapists the basics of gardening so they may better serve their patients in the unique setting of the garden.
Patients thrive in the garden setting. The return to an old hobby—or perhaps an introduction to a new interest—makes a significant contribution to their therapy and allows for even greater achievement of their therapy goals. The opportunity to practice therapy goals in an alternative setting can improve skills as well as emotional well being.
The work of the Master Gardeners in the Therapeutic Garden was recognized at the 2009 Medistar Awards. Winning the “Heath Educator” Award, the Therapeutic Garden program demonstrated once again how Cardinal Hill continues to find innovative ways to serve our patients.