Nature for Wellness — Healthcare Initiative

Physician burnout has been declared a public health crisis — and that was before the pandemic.

Today, forward-thinking healthcare institutions are reimagining the ways they support the wellbeing of their physicians, nurses and staff to curb burnout, and at the same time, address other consequential challenges like quality of patient care and rising healthcare costs. Many are finding success through nature: small green spaces creatively embedded on their campuses, accessible to nurses and physicians during their breaks. 

We’ve seen the impact of these spaces first-hand. Over the last 25 years, we’ve partnered with healthcare organizations across the country to infuse green spaces designed for healing and respite — what we call Sacred Places — on their grounds. In fact, we even partnered with one of the most prominent researchers in ‪evidence-based healthcare design to study this approach. The research is clear: nearby nature intervention measurably reduces symptoms of stress and burnout in nurses.

What it is

To help support more healthcare institutions, we’ve devised a Nature for Wellness Initiative for healthcare organizations that leverages our two-plus decades of experience, our unique 5-staged methodology and an experienced Nature Sacred Design Team to guide, consult and collaborate with healthcare organizations looking to create healing, transformative Sacred Places on their campus. 

Why does this matter? To briefly explain, we pulled in Nature Sacred collaborator, Dr. Roger Ulrich, a pioneer in evidence-based healthcare design, and author of a landmark 1984 study that found that people recovering from surgery in hospital rooms with views of nature needed shorter stays and fewer doses of strong pain medication than did those in rooms looking onto a brick wall.


Terrace Garden at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR

By partnering together, we work to:

  • Infuse nature into healthcare campuses in ways that are accessible, welcoming — impactful to health and the bottom line
  • Improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of physicians, nurses and staff — reducing stress and burnout
  • Improve patient care (reducing, for example, the number of nurse and physician errors)
  • Realize cost saving (reducing nurse and physician absences and turnover and the aforementioned errors)
  • Promote more rapid patient recovery and provide a more positive patient/hospital care environment and experience
  • Negate stress-induced health issues experienced by family of critically ill patients 

How it Works

Nature Sacred curates a focused team to partner with organizations looking to integrate a healing Sacred Place, or series of Sacred Places, on their healthcare campuses. Design Advisors and Nature Sacred staff are hand-picked based on relevant skills and experience with healthcare institutions to lead the program forward. We lean on our national Firesoul Network for real-time ideation as we go — and look to our DEI Advisors for guidance as needed.

Your Nature Sacred team will guide through every stage of the process, engineered to:

  • Help manage the process from start to finish — from scope to finished designs.
  • Facilitate discovery and charrette series with stakeholders and members of your healthcare community — garnering consensus on goals, vision and design direction
  • Ensure that the design remains community-led, community-centric — and reflective of the Nature Sacred design principles

25 Years of Experience

A Network for Good

By virtue of creating a Sacred Place, as Firesoul, you’re automatically folded into our Nature Sacred Firesoul Network — a nationwide alliance of like-minded peers and community leaders. Here, you can:

  • Tap into the collective knowledge of fellow healthcare-focused Firesouls from across the country
  • Share ideas, ask questions and collaborate on ways to best serve your providers, patients, staff and visitors
  • Get inspired by programming ideas and solutions implemented at Sacred Places on other healthcare campuses  
  • Leverage road-tested tools, models and resources already proven to work 

Consult with us about your Nature for Wellness Sacred Place

Let’s Connect

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Hear more about how these spaces deliver meaningful impact from Dr. Roger Ulrich

Watch the video


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