Milwaukee, WI, August 13, 2012 – Research has proven that access to nature reduces stress, promotes faster healing, reduces the need for medications and decreases the length of one’s hospital stay. The new Carl E. Olson Family Healing Garden was integrated into the Cancer Center at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee, 2350 N. Lake Drive, to provide patients and their families with a space where they can focus on healing mind, body and spirit as they under-go complex procedures that are part of modern cancer care. Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation has scheduled a special Dedication Ceremony on Wednesday, August 15th at 5:30 p.m. for friends and donors of Columbia St. Mary’s to honor Dr. Olson and the new Garden.
Dr. Carl E. Olson, a radiation oncologist who shares his time between the Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Centers in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties, is the naming donor to the project. According to Dr. Olson, everything – even cancer - can be framed in a meaningful, hopeful way. “My hope is that the healing garden will facilitate healing for our patients and enable family and visitors to be at peace with their current place in life.”
With the floor to ceiling windows in the Cancer Center, patients and guests have a full view of the garden with a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan as its backdrop. Designed by renowned landscape architect Dennis Buettner, the garden features a large pond with a beautiful waterfall cascading into the pool below, an aquatic wetland feature that filters water through the use of water garden plants, flora blooming throughout the seasons and three terraces providing stopping places along the path for reflection and relaxation.
Other forms of complementary medicine are available to patients at the Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Center such as music, art and pet therapy. According to Dr. Olson, integrating the healing effects of alternative therapies alongside advanced treatments is a powerful tool in establishing successful outcomes. “I’ve always felt that being in nature is very relaxing and healing,” said Dr. Olson. “With all of the technology that exists and the complexity of life, it is easy to forget that everything comes from nature. The garden is an incredible reminder of the beauty and fortitude the world has to offer,” he said.
The Columbia St. Mary’s Oncology Program is recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program, and the American College of Radiology for providing the highest quality of Community Cancer Care available today. The Cancer Center opened in 2007 as part of the new Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee building project.