Princeton Health Develops Garden to Honor Healthcare Heroes

Penn Medicine Princeton Health has created a Healthcare Heroes Garden to recognize the challenges of 2020 and show gratitude to the medical staff members and employees who helped our community through it all.

The garden will be in full bloom this spring on the Princeton Medical Center (PMC) campus, just outside the Schreyer Education Center. President and CEO Barry S. Rabner said the Heroes Garden is dedicated to everyone who was part of Princeton Health through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The last ten months challenged us in ways that none of us ever imagined," Rabner said. "The good news is that we have proven ourselves to be stronger than COVID and that with dedication, courage, hard work, flexibility, creativity and optimism, we have taken great care of our patients and each other."

The garden spot is a prime location between the Education Center, the Healing Garden, and the Edward & Marie Matthews Center for Cancer Care. Last summer, as the first wave of COVID-19 was winding down, Rabner suggested developing the space to recognize the staff and medical staff.

Funding to develop the garden came from a bequest by the estate of the late David I. Scott, MD, and his wife, Gail Shapiro-Scott. Scott was a talented anesthesiologist who helped start the pediatric anesthesiology practice at Princeton Health, Rabner said, and Shapiro-Scott was a retired teacher who volunteered more than 1,400 hours to serve the hospital and our patients.

The bequest was made after Shapiro-Scott’s death in March 2020. The Scotts’ gift will also benefit a new Patient Support Fund at the Matthews Center for Cancer Care.

Rabner said the Heroes Garden is intended to offer a place for reflection and contemplation. The garden features birch trees and other plants, benches, tables, and chairs. One primary feature is a three-panel, metal wall directly outside the Education Center doors.

  • The left-hand panel displays a quote from Mother Teresa: A life not lived for others is not a life.
  • The right-hand panel acknowledges the donors.
  • The center panel is inscribed with a message honoring and thanking all staff members for their extraordinary courage, professionalism, commitment, and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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