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GMC Dedicates Alec Ewing Healing Garden, Butz Terrace

May 26, 2016 10:36AM ● Published by Erica Shames

The Alec Ewing Healing Garden and Butz Terrace were dedicated during a ceremony at Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) Tuesday. Located between the GMC parking garage and the Laboratory Medicine Building, both facilities will provide quiet, meditative space for patients, families and staff. David Feinberg, MBA, president and CEO, Geisinger Health System, spoke at the ceremony.  

Named for design and construction innovator Alec Ewing – the late founder of Ewing Cole, Inc., an architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firm – the healing garden includes a labyrinth, fountain, natural stone elements, graceful plantings, and a remembrance alcove with an eternal flame. Portions of the pillars from the original George F. Geisinger Memorial Hospital, which was founded in 1915, and a centennial celebration time capsule from 2015 are also featured in areas surrounding the garden.

Gifts from Geisinger Health System (GHS) employees and from Ewing Cole, Inc. supported the garden’s $300,000 design and construction. It was designed and installed by Ettinger’s Landscaping of Montoursville, while the fountain was created by Robert Wertz of Igneous Rock Gallery, Mechanicsburg.

“Geisinger is refocusing on the idea of ‘Caring’ being at the center of every interaction with patients, employees and visitors,” said Lynn Miller, MBA, executive vice president, clinical operations, GHS. “This healing garden is similar to those that we have at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, and it beautifully depicts that caring is at the heart of everything we do, and you can feel it in the air in a space like this.”

Al Neuner, vice president of facilities operations, GHS, was instrumental in the vision for the healing garden space and was recognized by having a corner space, named “Neuner’s Nook,” in his honor.

Butz Terrace is two tiers above the healing garden and named in honor of a gift from Alvin H. Butz, Inc. Also landscaped by Ettinger’s, it provides space for outdoor dining and meditation.

In addition to Miller and Feinberg, Shannon Borchert, senior director, spiritual care, GMC, spoke at the dedication.

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