Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Healing Garden

Becky Martins from Voice4Patients sent along this note about an important project. The Healing Garden is a living memorial dedicated to those patients and their loved ones who have suffered a medical error.

I became a patient safety advocate following my father's preventable death in 2000 and founded Voice4Patients.com; a comprehensive web resource that provides patient safety information for consumers. Prior to that, I had been a long time advocate for end stage renal disease patients.

A number of years ago, there was a workgroup of consumers who had hoped to obtain the funding to buy land and have a memorial wall with the names of victims of medical error. As you can imagine, land in DC is expensive. Still, survivors wanted a way to honor their loved ones.

The living memorial garden has been created as a healing space to reflect upon and honor those whose journeys ended before we were ready to say our good-byes, as well for those who have experienced a medical trauma and live with the lingering emotional and physical effects. The garden includes a 40' diameter medicine wheel. There are four sections of flowers planted around the wheel in honor of the children, spouses, siblings and friends, and our elders. We had requests from those who work steadfastly everyday in the healthcare system, who also asked to be included to honor their commitment and dedication (and their hope and intention for a safer healthcare system). These champions are reflected in the walking path that leads into the garden area.

The healing space is located in midcoast Maine. There is no fee to have a flower planted, people only need to submit the information of who to plant the flower for and which section of the garden. Our family will be opening the garden to visitors in the Summer of 2010.

Thanks for posting the information,
Becky Martins

They will be planting bulbs this weekend. To make a donation or arrange for a flower to be planted, visit http://www.voice4patients.com/other_content/Living_Memorial%20Garden_Medical_Harm.pdf.

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