Wendy Schmitz, MD, HMD, FAAHPM, Earns Fellow Status from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Wendy Schmitz, MD, HMD, FAAHPM, of Dayton, Ohio, recently earned the designation Fellow of the…
The campus grounds of the Hospice House of Dayton offer patients, their families and the community a beautiful setting for contemplation, prayer, meditation, or the enjoyment of nature. Walkways wind across the campus with several private seating areas, sculptures and waterfalls to enjoy.
Patients and their families also enjoy those gardens from the privacy of their rooms. Outside each window is a planter box filled with season-appropriate flowers and greenery. In addition to the beautiful flowers and plants, woodpeckers, goldfinches, purple finches, house finches and hummingbirds stop at birdfeeders placed outside each patient window.
For Susan Tyree, landscaper, it has been an honor and a privilege to work at the Hospice House of Dayton in the gardens. “This is a different type of landscaping,” said Tyree, who joined Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton a year ago. “My goal is to make it more peaceful for our patients.”
She works tirelessly to make the gardens beautiful for the patients, experimenting with different flowers and plants. She looks at the gardens from the patient’s perspective to determine what would look best and be most comforting to patients.
When she accepted the job, she had no idea how much it would change her. The mission of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton is to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family.
“The hospice mission has really made a difference to me in my life,” said Tyree, who worked for many years with Meadowview Growers in New Carlisle, Ohio, before joining Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “It has made me appreciate life — to make the most of each moment. It has made me kinder. It has made me stop and think. This is so much different than any other landscaping job I have held.”
She is grateful to work with a team of volunteers, who help her throughout the grounds. Seasonal plantings by the landscaping team assure that the grounds present a welcoming environment year round. In the spring, Tyree and the volunteers plant pansies all over the grounds. Then, as summer approaches, they plant summer annuals, including geraniums, petunias, begonias and coleus.
When the volunteer team is not helping her in the gardens, they are in the Solarium working with donated plants to make beautiful floral arrangements that are used throughout the Hospice House. Some of the arrangements are placed in patient rooms.
“I wouldn’t be able to do my job without the assistance from our volunteers,” Tyree said. “Their help is invaluable.”
One of the volunteers, Craig Montgomery, is an avid gardener. He loves volunteering with Tyree’s team. “It’s very rewarding here,” he said. “Even though we’re working in the garden, we see patients and families. The number of people who comment on the grounds is unbelievable. The gardens are serving their purpose.”
Even during cold months, patients and their families can come to the Solarium to enjoy an oasis of beauty throughout the year. Located off the lower-level hallway between the Colp and Shaw buildings, it is open at all times to all visitors. The Solarium is designed to provide a seasonal reminder of spring and summer, even on the most blustery and cold winter days.
In addition to the gardens at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, families can celebrate life’s stories at the Memorial Courtyard, a new addition to the campus. The courtyard includes a fountain, a waterfall and memorial walls of granite that honor the memories of loved ones. To learn more about supporting our gardens, contact the Hospice of Dayton Foundation at 937.258.5537.