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Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

LMH makes plans for rooftop garden

Kathy Clausing-Willis, vice president and chief development officer for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, pictured at right, envisions a garden landscape with water features and aromatic flowerbeds on a now mostly bare rooftop area at LMH. The garden would serve as a serene and relaxing space for patients and staff.

Kathy Clausing-Willis, vice president and chief development officer for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, pictured at right, envisions a garden landscape with water features and aromatic flowerbeds on a now mostly bare rooftop area at LMH. The garden would serve as a serene and relaxing space for patients and staff.

November 24, 2008

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The seed has been planted to grow a rooftop meditation garden at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Now, LMH leaders hope that idea blooms into something special for patients and their families, as well as staff.

The vision is to turn the 55,000-square-foot gray patio area on the third-floor rooftop, where LMH and the Lawrence Health Plaza intersect, into an eye-popping green space filled with plants and water features.

“It’s not used as much as we would like to see, and we think with the enhancements of plants, water and smells that we will get a lot more folks involved in the outdoors,” said Kathy Clausing-Willis, LMH vice president and chief development officer.

The Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association board has approved $6,000 to fund the first phase of the project. By spring, Bartlett and West Engineers Inc. should have cost estimates and information on whether the rooftop can handle the weight and be handicap-accessible.

Clausing-Willis has contacted area garden clubs and Kansas University greek organizations about their interest in the project — particularly in maintaining the plants.

“It gives people something positive to be involved with and not cost a lot of money,” she said. “It will make a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives. If you are dying and you can get outside or if you are chronically ill and can get outside and have the sun on your face, that can mean a lot.”

Chuck Heath, LMH board member, hopes the community rallies around the idea.

“That’s just a space up there that’s begging for something nice to be done with,” he said. “I just hope that it comes together and can be financed.”

If the project receives a green light, LMH Endowment will launch a capital campaign.

It would come on the heels of a five-year campaign that began in 2002 and raised $8.2 million to help fund a $44 million expansion at the hospital. The project included the expansion of the emergency department, maternity and surgical services, and renovation of the intensive care unit. It also included making all patient care rooms private. About 200 volunteers worked on the campaign, which drew about 2,000 donors.

Although the campaign for the garden would be much smaller, there are concerns about the economy’s effect on fundraising. So LMH will consider that when deciding whether to move forward on the project.

Comments

cowboy 5 years, 11 months ago

Style over substance...Kudos to LMH , they obviously are a well run operation and take good care of their employees and patients while generating substantial revenue.It would seem a more noble effort to ditch the garden idea and fund a clinic for the community where those without insurance can get in to see a doc at a reasonable price. The local for profit clinics are charging close to a hundred dollars just to see a doctor. why can't LMH start a community clinic where folks can get a visit for say 30 or forty dollars to get minor needs taken care of. Keep the paperwork at a minimum and just deliver a low cost service to the uninsured community. Not everyone needs a ER visit , or extensive testing . It would reduce the demand and cost in their ER and provide a service to the community that is sorely needed.

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LogicMan 5 years, 11 months ago

Dirt, water, and containers are very heavy. Be sure to have a licensed structural engineer evaluate the idea before building it.Also budget for some hard to locate and fix roof leaks in the future.But if done correctly, should be a nice addition.

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akt2 5 years, 11 months ago

It will be a nice place for patients and their families to have. There really is no where for them to spend time outside. For the naysayers LMH provides millions of dollars in charity care. Many of the physicians volunteer time at the local clinics as well. LMH partners with Pinkney Elementary to provide mentors, and funding. They offer much to the community. Don't utilize the ER for a non emergent condition and then complain about the cost. It is an emegency room. Staffed and equipped for life threatening situations. If you have ever seen them treating a massive heart attack, stroke or someone not breathing, it might change your mind. Especially if it is you or a loved one.

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Confrontation 5 years, 11 months ago

Are you people seriously dumb enough to think it'd cost the same to open a health clinic as it will to start a garden?

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Charles L Bloss Jr 5 years, 11 months ago

I would not be caught dead in that hospital. Thank you, Lynn

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bambi 5 years, 11 months ago

akt2 - Don't forget Health Care Access. LMH helps fund that clinic - voluntarily gives free services (XRay, Lab etc.) to their clients and has VP's sitting on its Board. HCA is exactly "a clinic for the community where those without insurance can get in to see a doc at a reasonable price".

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cowboy 5 years, 11 months ago

I was not criticizing LMH , they have saved my life a couple times now and did it very well. What I am saying is they have the know how to build an effective health clinic , why not. Lawrence is very underserved. HCA is not the answer while it does some good work. It is bogged down with qualifying paperwork / applications. Income requirements and so on. Why not just have a simple clinic , well staffed , handle non-emergency , family health care for the uninsured. Might compete with the local rip off clinics . That might be the real problem. I guess i have a problem with the entire health care delivery system if ya want to know the truth.Why does my health insurance cost well over 6 grand a year when I have averaged less than 1500 per year in services ? I'm waiting to sign up for that Senate health program Obama talked about. Ok , rant over , enjoy the garden at LMH.

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Puff_Dragon 5 years, 11 months ago

You can't sit outside in winter here? I've seen 70's in January here and getting outside the hosp. was a blessing. I too hate the high costs of getting anything done but I couldn't have asked for anything more while I was in LMH. One stay was 30 days and it was honestly all anyone could expect to get. I will even atest that the food was great! I'm still paying the bill 6 yrs. later but they have treated me right and I am thankful that they let me make payments.I think this would be a great addition and patients and staff could get outside for awhile and get some air and watch a sunset/sunrise.And if I take off down the sidewalk with 6 bags attached to my wheel-chair for a smoke don't chase me down.....I'll be back.....where else am I gonna go..eh?

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guesswho 5 years, 11 months ago

Cowboy - it is called pooling risk. That is great that you haven't had to use much medical care. If you honestly think you will only need $1500 a year in health care services why do you keep health insurance? Because you are risk-averse and keep your insurance because someday you may need $30,000 in care and it will be covered.

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