Sacred Place at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center garners prestigious healthcare design award

“A Nature Place”, the Sacred Place created at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, as part of the National Nature Sacred Awards program, has just been awarded Platinum in the Center for Health Design’s Evidence-Based Design Touchstone Awards.

The award recognizes the use of an evidence-based design process in the pursuit of increasing value, improving outcomes and engaging stakeholders in a healthcare setting.

“We’re thrilled to see A Nature Place, which incorporates the same four key elements found in all of our Sacred Places, being recognized in this way,” said Erin Robertson, executive director of the TKF Foundation/Nature Sacred. “Awareness of the healing capacity of these kinds of spaces is really growing — well beyond horticulture communities.”

A Nature Place is situated just over the threshold of Legacy Emanuel’s Maternity Care Ward and Cardiovascular Unit. Since completion in 2013, it has been a haven for laboring mothers, recovering cardiac patients, doctors and nurses. At the same time, it has also served as a study site for researchers to grow our understanding of the specific ways time spent in a healing garden impacts specific markers and aspects of health, including stress. The research team behind the project were awarded a National Nature Sacred Award grant by the TKF Foundation for their work.

Judges for the Touchstone award graded submissions based on their projects’ achievement across three “touchstones of the EBD process”: collaboration (demonstrating involvement of an interdisciplinary team and stakeholder education, engagement and development); evaluation (submissions were required to demonstrate the extent to which research was found, evaluated and applied to link design to outcomes and measurement of results); and sharing (submissions were further required to demonstrate how the EB process was applied and how the knowledge gained was disseminated, captured, and had the potential for application to future projects.)

A ceremony celebrating the awards is being held today at the Healthcare Design Expo & Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

The mission of the Center for Health Design is to “transform healthcare environments for a healthier, safer world through design research, education and advocacy.”


Read more about A Nature Place.

See our short film, Heart of the Hospital, which tells the story of A Nature Place.

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