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After a cold, snowy winter and long days of chemotherapy, Bob and Jane Ingle have appreciated watching the Edward and Marilyn Schnuck Healing Garden at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital spring back to life.

On a sunny May day, they sat side by side on a garden bench. “We’ve watched flowers bloom and the plants rejuvenate,” Jane Ingle says. “It’s nice to be able to leave the hospital air and come out into the fresh air and sunshine. It’s also a spacious place to visit with family.”

Diagnosed with sarcoma in January, Bob Ingle spent five six-hour days every three weeks receiving chemotherapy. “I was there a long time, and it was soothing to be able to go outdoors and have lunch and sit in the garden,” he says.

The Edward and Marilyn Schnuck Healing Garden, which opened in 2010, wraps around and behind the Siteman Cancer Center. It’s filled with trees and flowers, a rock garden and a small pond. It also has tables, benches and umbrella, providing a place for privacy and healing for patients and families.

Both the garden, which is visible from the treatment area, and the interior facility were constructed with the patient experience in mind and feature soothing surroundings and amenities.

“Research has shown that nature promotes healing and stress relief,” says Lisa Kehlenbrink, RN, clinical nurse administrator of Siteman’s west county facility. “We wanted to create a place for patients, visitors, and our own caregivers to relax, and get away in a beautiful setting for a while. Our patients and their families really enjoy the garden.”

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