An outstanding combination of staff, patient, and community support created the Jacqueline Fiske Healing Garden at Jupiter Medical Center. Design elements reduce stress by incorporating components of Dr. Roger Ulrich's evidence-based design model. The healing garden presents sensory, psychological, and natural stimuli that support the healing process.

Project category: Addition (completed January 2002)

Chief administrator: Teresa F. Wentz, Chief Operating Officer, (561) 744-2234

Firm: Roy-Fisher Associates, (561) 747-3462

Design team: Connie Roy-Fisher, Landscape Architect; Scott Hall, Landscape Architect

Photography: Roy-Fisher Associates; Michiko Kurisu

Total building area (sq. ft.): 10,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $25

Total cost (excluding land): $250,000

Dr. Ulrich, of Texas A&M University, found that exercise, a sense of control, social support, and nature or other positive distractions help to reduce stress, resulting in improved health outcomes. The Jacqueline Fiske Healing Garden encourages exercise as a pleasant activity for recovering stroke victims and includes steps with handrails, different walking surfaces, and a putting green, so that patients can regain confidence in activities of daily living in a realistic outdoor setting.

An array of choices provides a sense of control: whether to sit in the sun or shade, alone or with company, in the public view or in a private space. Furniture that can be rearranged further promotes independence.

Social support is encouraged by the variety of places where different-sized groups can gather and diverse species of plants that stimulate conversation. Patients, volunteers, and staff learn about and care for the garden through involvement with the “Healing Gardeners.”

Visitors interact with nature through the plethora of plant varieties with seasonal interest, a fountain with touchable water, and bronze cranes commissioned by a local artist. A transplanted 40' oak provides shelter for visiting birds and wildlife.