By Chuck Finder and Tim Betler
This picturesque green space isn’t your typical public park,
even though passersby will notice patients enjoying a few moments in nature.
Curb cuts and
steep stairs? Cobblestones followed by gravel followed by dirt and mulch?
Swooping, curving sidewalks?
Yes, this garden
functions all at once as a UPMC
Rehabilitation Institute place of respite and obstacle course of sorts.
It’s a luscious oasis and a learning curve, right off Locust Street in front of
15,000-square-foot park opened in August thanks to a donation from the Walmart
that? Wow, that’s great,” said patient Roseanne Torisky of Dormont. “I think
it’s wonderful. Just come out and enjoy nature. Just come out. “
Institute physical therapists Randall Huzinec, Seth Pierson and Elizabeth
Stanley helped to design the therapeutic functionality of the park. Huzinec, at
the grand opening ceremony Aug. 29, noted that their plan entailed essentially
giving patients a cozy facility where they could “regain their independence and
mobility in the real Western Pennsylvania community terrain.”
“From a rehab
perspective, it’s tough inside a hospital to replicate things like gravel and
mulch and going up steep inclines,” added Will Cook, president of UPMC Mercy. “These
are all the realities that patients face when they leave the Rehabilitation
Institute – oftentimes with their life very different from what it was before: in wheelchairs, walking on canes, with
Labels: UPMC Mercy, UPMC Rehabilitation Institute