WILMINGTON – New Hanover Regional Medical Center has added another unique feature for healing to the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital with the completion of a Green Roof Garden. The garden outside the pediatric playroom and family area is a self-sustainable green space made from recycled materials, designed to give children and their families an area of refuge filled with fresh air and sunshine.
In addition to the health benefits for patients, the green roof has many environmental benefits. The new roof will help save on storm water runoff, absorb pollution and save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs. Adding the green roof also increases the life of the roof because the plants protect the roof from UV rays and prevent the expansion and contraction that damages a roof over time.
The Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital Green Roof is divided into two areas: the first is just outside the family lounge on the pediatric unit offering parents of patients a quiet place to go while still remaining close to their children. The second area is near the pediatric playroom and is designed for children and families to relax outside, still close to the care they need.
Both gardens were named in honor of the gifts made to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation. Wilmington Health Associates’ Children’s Clinic provided a gift to name the family lounge patio in honor of Dr. Ralph Moore, a retired physician who founded the Children’s Clinic in 1959. Emily P. Longley of Longley Supply Company made a gift to name the pediatric playroom garden. Her father, Henry Longley, was among the original founders of the hospital and the Longley family has supported many NHRMC programs over the years.
“We are grateful for the generous support of our donors who made this green roof possible,” says NHRMC president and chief executive officer, Jack Barto. “Their gifts have enabled us to add another important dimension to our patient care, while decreasing our impact on our environment.”
“It was part of our vision from the beginning to have an outdoor area for our pediatric patients and families,” says Barbara Buechler, administrator of the Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “We know from research and our own experiences that spending time outside is relaxing and can help patients and families better heal and cope with the stress they’re under.”
Steve Mott of Mott Landscaping, a locally-owned, LEED-certified company, designed the green roof and says it is one of the first gardens of its kind and scope in the Wilmington area. The garden is filled with 30-40 types of native plants, which are adapted to the area’s environment and generally require less care and resources. Soil is not used in the garden, rather very small pieces of a shale-like medium is used for planting. It is much lighter than soil, does not compact and allows for good drainage.
“Each plant is watered through a system that collects and stores rain water, using only as much as is needed,” says Christina Maroulis, director of planning and construction at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “By filtering, absorbing and detaining rainfall, the green roof also treats nitrogen pollution and negates the effects of acid rain.”
For more information about the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital, visit www.nhrmc.org/womensandchildrens
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 4,500 jobs directly and another 3,000 jobs indirectly.