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Aurora St. Luke's Dedicates Rooftop Healing Garden and Conservatory
Date:6/1/2009

uilding materials, like Minnesota limestone, were used in the construction. The garden is going through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process and has earned enough points at this juncture for basic certification.

Physicians, such as Dr. Bernard Staller, a cardiologist at St. Luke's for 36 years and a garden donor, support the new space.

"The concept was appealing to me from the outset," Dr. Staller says. "This will be very uplifting for patients and families. Good care is not just about healing the body, but healing the emotions and spirit."

A quiet refuge within a bustling hospital environment will be particularly meaningful for those with lengthy hospital stays. Julie Campbell is one patient in particular who is looking forward to venturing into the garden.

Campbell has been tethered to total artificial heart (TAH-t) at Aurora St. Luke's for more than a year. She gets outside when the weather permits, but her options are limited because of the logistics of moving the TAH-t. The garden will give her a safe haven, she says.

"I've been watching them building it from my window," Campbell says. "I can't wait to get in to see it."

The Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds provided $1.5 million toward the $4.9 million project, and the Agnes and Moreland Hamilton estate donated $1.7 million. Aurora St. Luke's is part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit health care provider.

Christian Barry, president of the Vince Lombardi Charitable Funds, says the garden reflects the funds' mission to support compassionate care.

"While Vince Lombardi himself was receiving treatment for cancer, he had a window that looked out onto a football field," Barry says. "Being able to see the world, unconfined by four walls, brought light to some of his darkest days. We hope that this innovative garden brings comfort and hop
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SOURCE Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center
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