New hospice care facility opens in Glenview
Anne Rossiter, senior director of community development, gives a tour of the new Marshak Family Hospice Pavillion at Midwest Pallative and Hospice CareCenter Aug. 9. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 17, 2012 11:57AM
Under hospice care, David Waud’s parents died five years ago in Lake Forest.
In learning more about hospice — the care practice that brings self respect and tranquility to dying people — he took a course in volunteer work and visited two elderly men.
“One was 89 years old and the other 101. Spending time with them was the highlight of my week,” said an affable Waud.
“I’ve learned that people can have a good attitude when dying.”
From those experiences, Waud and his siblings decided to be the lead funders of the Waud Family Healing Garden at the Midwest Hospice and Palliative CareCenter in Glenview.
The first and only freestanding inpatient hospice in Cook County, the attractive facility — much of it wood, stone, original art and huge viewing windows — held a grand opening Thursday, with inpatient care beginning Aug. 21.
More than 500 people attended the gala dedication of the healing garden and Marshak Family Hospice Pavilion.
Because Waud and his family often patronized the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, they wanted a place where people could reflect on nature.
“My parents loved Chicago Botanic, and the Circle Garden there is named after them. Having a healing garden in their memory at Palliative CareCenter seemed like a perfect fit,” he said.
Surrounded by willow and river birch trees, the wheelchair accessible healing garden included a large gathering place, a running brook, fire pit and contemplation path.
Techny Towers, home to Divine Word Missionary, can be seen to the northeast in Northbrook.
The garden also overlooks the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River that winds through 50 natural prairie acres, of where blue herons and egrets often inhabit.
Jamie O’Malley, Midwest Hospice CEO and president, said studies have shown that being around nature has positive physical effects on people.
“Nature is pastoral and slows one’s blood pressure and pulse,” said O’Mally.
“You can see life’s metaphors in a garden. Plants come in spring and later die, but more come back later. This speaks to people,” she said.
“Our healing garden is a sacred place.”
Before Karen Marshak lost her husband to cancer 10 years ago, he stayed at the Midwest Hospice and Palliative CareCenter.
“It was Gary’s desire to give back in the healthcare arena. He died with dignity with his entire family around,” said Marshak, a former emergency room nurse at Highland Park Hospital.
“He embraced the process of dying and accepted death. My passion is continuing to educate people about this hospice care facility.”
The Hospice Pavilion has 16 suites and can serve 1,000 patients a year.
Nurses, doctors, chaplains, social workers, music and massage therapists staff the care team, as well as volunteers.
Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter cares for 3,200 patients per year in 150 communities in the north and northwest suburbs and Chicago and Lake County.