Flowers, butterflies and chimes will help patients recover
Article Date: Jun 17, 2013

Immanuel Medical Center Cancer Center Inspiration Garden
Immanuel Cancer Center’s New Inspiration Garden

For some, it will be a place to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy. For others, it will be a place to pray for a loved one. For many, it will be a place to just get away, de-stress and enjoy nature.

The Immanuel Medical Center Cancer Center Inspiration Garden will be dedicated later this week. It showcases a sculpture by world-renowned artist Matthew Placzek. The local sculptor is no stranger to the campus; another of his sculptures draws patients, families and staff to the nearby Immanuel Celebration Park, which commemorates 125 years of Immanuel's healing ministry.

Placzek is excited to be working with Alegent Creighton Health again. "It's so terrific they have so much faith in me that my work will be in front of their building (the Cancer Center)," he said. "It's a wonderful feeling and very satisfying to see my work there. The people are great to work with."

Immanuel Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Ann Schumacher said there's a lot of excitement about the garden: "Throughout its 126-year history, Immanuel Medical Center has been a place of hope, healing and inspiration. We hope this garden will provide patients and families with peace, perspective and promise amidst a difficult diagnosis and treatment regime."

James Commers, M.D., said inspirational or healing gardens are becoming more commonplace in healthcare settings. "It's well-recognized that nature can improve a person's emotional mental and physical outlook. Nature can refresh and help them cope, something that is so important to the treatment process."

Placzek visited the site almost three months ago and pictured a sculpture with height. "I wanted to create an area that's set apart from the rest of the hospital, that's its own space. I go with my initial instinct. Once I picture something in my mind, I let it marinate. Then I draw it."

His sculpture includes a large chime that's 14 feet tall and five feet wide. "I wanted to include some of the senses," he said. "That comes with the healing of the body, mind and soul."

An 18-foot-long screen that's nine feet high is also part of the garden. "The screen is metamorphosis," Placzek said. "It depicts the metamorphosis of a butterfly. It's all about the renewal of the body and the uplifting of the human spirit."

Placzek works on 10 to 20 projects a year, all over the country. He said the most challenging part for him is coordinating the different aspects of each sculpture, like design, fabrication, production, painting and installation. "A lot goes on behind the curtain," Placzek said.

The Cancer Center's Inspiration Garden will be dedicated during a public ceremony on June 20th at 10 a.m.


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Cancer Center

Immanuel Medical Center

James Commers, M.D.