Space to offer area for rest and reflection for families and visitors
ST. LOUIS (May 19, 2017) – SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation announced plans for the Anita Sue Gregorich Tranquility Healing Garden. With an expected June 12 opening, the space will provide a healing environment and comfort for families at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Crews recently broke ground on the area, located in a fenced area along Grand Avenue. It offers a peaceful place for families to retreat while their child is being cared for at the hospital. The garden will feature space for reflection, including several seating areas with beautiful flowers and plants unique to each area. This area will provide a much-needed distraction and stress-free environment for parents whose children are facing serious illness or injury.
The garden is named after longtime Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse Anita Sue Gregorich, who passed away from cancer in March 2016. Anita enjoyed places with quiet, peaceful and serene atmospheres, as she regularly went on long walks in local parks. When she passed away, she bequeathed $150,000 to the hospital’s NICU team and the group fittingly decided to use the money to create a hospital garden in Anita’s memory.
“She held a world of knowledge of medicine and mentored in the art of truly caring,” says her long-time friend and colleague Theresa Gelven, BSN, RN, IBCLC, a lactation consultant in neonatal services at the hospital. “She lovingly cared for the tiniest of patients and did what she loved for 26 years.”
Anita never married or had children of her own. She did, however, call her colleagues her family and “adopted” each and every patient in her care. She brought blankets and toys for babies who didn’t have any, talked and played with them because she knew how vital it was and she came in on her days off whenever one of her patients would go home.