Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend—A Healing Environment

Research shows that patients cared for in a calm setting that incorporates natural light, the sight and sound of water, and exterior views of green spaces experience less stress and pain and lower blood pressure and have a faster recovery. The RiverBend site, with its untamed river, wildlife, trees and wildflowers, is the quintessential healing environment.

In addition, patients and visitors who come to Sacred Heart at RiverBend will also notice our investment in healing artwork. We believe that art is an important component of the healing process. Our artwork selections reflect and support the expectations of quality design already existent in the architecture of the new hospital.

There is a growing body of literature that shows improvements in health care facility and site design can improve patient outcomes. By creating an environment that is more welcoming and has a less institutional feel, we can help reduce stress for patients and visitors. We believe that artwork, coupled with the natural setting at Sacred Heart at RiverBend, creates an environment that is healing for patients, supportive of family involvement and restorative for workers under stress.

Architect Todd Tierney, AIA, describes the outdoor courtyards in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.