Bringing Nature into the Orléans Health Hub

Posted on 13/04/2018

The Forget For A Moment Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received final approval for its project to install a living wall in the new Orléans Health Hub. In late January 2018 the Foundation learned that the wall will be installed in the Health Hub’s geriatric centre. The Orléans Health Hub is a unique and innovative model that will bring a wide range of specialized and community healthcare services under one roof. Once the project is completed, residents of the greater Orléans area, from newborns to seniors, will have access to integrated programs close to home, focused on their needs and offered in both official languages. In addition to the reception and waiting areas in each program, the Health Hub will include an outdoor garden, a café and a pleasant reception area.

In July 2016, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-term Care made an investment of over $5 million to complete the Health Hub’s health services planning as well as the development of architectural plans in collaboration with Hôpital Montfort’s partners. A year later the concept of a living wall in the new facility was approved in principle by a steering committee involved in planning the new Health Hub.

In November 2017 the Foundation received confirmation that the hospital board had approved the living wall project. The final step was the decision on where the living wall would be located within the Hub.

Representative illustration of the living wall. However, modifications may occur in terms of colours and plants used.

Infrastructure Ontario and Hôpital Montfort have now issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for interested parties to build and finance the Orléans Health Hub. The architectural design of the new facility will incorporate the living wall into the design of the geriatric centre. The Foundation looks forward to working with the designers on this important initiative.

A living wall is kind of a painting, a true work of art, where the colours, shapes and textures of plants give both the effect of the brushstroke of the painter and that of the cold chisel of the sculptor giving shape to the raw material. In addition to being ornamental and at least original, living walls are also very useful since they cool and slightly humidify the atmosphere of the buildings in which they are installed. They also effectively clean the air of buildings with a host of gaseous substances, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are particularly harmful to humans.

Perhaps most importantly, living walls connect people with nature by bringing greenery inside to those who are shut in and unable to experience it outdoors. The many physical, emotional and psychological benefits of exposure to nature, whether indoors or outside, have been well documented. Plants and greenery can provide uplifting and calming effects on people while having a positive impact on stress-related illnesses. Studies have shown that simply having a view of greenery increases patient recovery rates in hospitals. Gardens that are incorporated into hospitals create a sense of comfort for patients, leading to improvements in clinical outcomes and shortened stays.

We are proud to be a part of this exciting new project to give residents of the Orléans Health Hub geriatric care centre an opportunity to connect with nature.