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Oncology garden dedicated to long-time volunteer

(Saint John) September 23, 2016 - Today, the Saint John Regional Hospital's Oncology Garden was officially dedicated in memory of the late Joan Smith, former Auxiliary member and oncology garden pioneer.

The late Joan Smith was instrumental in leading the Oncology Garden renewal project for the Saint John Regional Hospital Auxiliary's Brighten Group. Mrs. Smith had a vision for the garden - to provide a place of sanctuary for cancer patients and help raise the spirits of those undergoing treatment by providing an attractive view for patients looking out the windows of the chemotherapy room.

"Joan Smith recognized the importance of providing a patient and family centred care environment," said John McGarry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Health Network. "Today, the honour is ours to dedicate this beautiful garden in her name - a direct reflection of her vision and hard work that will live on for many years to come."

Joan Smith was a cancer survivor, experienced gardener, and long-time Saint John Regional Hospital Brighten Group Auxiliary member. She began the Oncology Garden renewal project in 1998 with a vision to turn the garden into what it is today. She is still remembered fondly by her fellow Auxiliary members.

"I am proud to say she was a friend and colleague and it was my privilege to work with her. Joan was a cancer survivor who took her own situation and turned it into a positive outcome for others who were sharing the same experience," said Teri Levine, Past President, Saint John Regional Hospital Auxiliary's Brighten Group. "It seems only fitting the space she nurtured and cared for so diligently will bear her name and continue as a living tribute to her."

A new garden sign and plaque were unveiled at the ceremony to commemorate the Joan Smith Memorial Garden. The garden is open during the months of May to October for Oncology patients and their family members to enjoy.    

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For more information contact:

Stephanie Neilson-Levesque
Senior Media Relations Advisor

Judie Domokos
Saint John Regional Hospital Auxiliary's Brighten Group


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