Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg Unveils New Community Healing Garden

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Transformed space offers a tranquil place for patients and visitors to reflect and heal 

Lehigh Valley, Pa. (Sept. 26,2023) –Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and community members celebrated the unveiling of the new community healing garden at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg today (Sept. 26).

The idea to transform the garden was the brainchild of Peter Yenawine from Bethlehem, who spent time in the existing space for therapy after having surgery for a herniated disk and felt it could use a facelift.

Yenawine approached a gardener friend of his who helped connect him with other local gardeners and Bob Begliomini, LVHN’s Senior Vice President of Operations and President of its Lehigh Region, about renovating the space.

“We are so thankful for Peter’s vision and the wonderful community partnership that made it a beautiful reality,” Begliomini said. “This new stunning space will bring peace, comfort and joy to patients, visitors and our colleagues, and we are eternally grateful for everyone who donated their time and expertise.”

The project was funded by LVH–Muhlenberg’s Auxiliary and completed by LVHN colleagues and a group of local master gardeners. The master gardeners designed the project and hand-selected and carefully placed a variety of plants, flowers and trees. In addition, they tapped into Bethlehem’s history by researching and including herbs identified by early Moravian doctors as having healing properties. Examples include chamomile, salvia, rosemary and thyme. Future plans call for adding QR codes next to each plant so visitors can learn about their healing properties.

The designers espaliered dogwood trees along one of the walls of the hospital and included a cottage garden that contains flowering perennials. At least half of the plants are considered native to the region. The Lehigh Valley Rhododendron Society donated three rhododendrons.

The renovated space also includes a hot-form glass sculpture created by Yenawine. The piece lights up at night and resembles a water fountain. A nearby speaker enhances the space with the therapeutic sound of running water, because water fountains are not allowed on campus for health reasons.

“I wanted to say thank you for the great care I received and saw an opportunity to create something beautiful and healing for future patients,” Yenawine said.

The garden is located near the Family Health Pavilion on LVH–Muhlenberg’s south campus and open to patients and visitors.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) includes 13 hospital campuses, four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, and one in Lehighton, Pa.; 28 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children; burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center; and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer InstituteLehigh Valley Heart and Vascular InstituteLehigh Valley Institute for Surgical ExcellenceLehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute and Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (MSK Cancer Alliance), an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the third largest children’s hospital in Pennsylvania, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics.  Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No. 1 hospital for 10 straight years and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top 10 hospitals for 10 consecutive years and nationally ranked for Orthopedics in 2023 by U.S. News & World Report. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the Lehigh Valley’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org or following us on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Information provided to TVL by:
Jamie L. Stover
Media Relations Specialist
Marketing & Public Affairs
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Allentown, PA 18105