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Louisville attorney, photographer to bring nature’s healing to renovated hospital

The future Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2012) – Findings from several studies show that hospital gardens and photos of nature have medical benefits for patients. Donald Vish, a Louisville attorney with a passion for photography, has researched several such studies and has become fascinated by these findings. As Norton Suburban Hospital becomes Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews, Vish is sharing his talents by furnishing the facility with beautiful photographs acquired in 37 parks and neighborhoods in Louisville.

Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews will be a full-service hospital specializing in care for women and children; project completion is projected for spring of 2014. Hospital programs designed to help make the patient experience less stressful include spa services and valet parking. Including photographs of local parks and gardens in patient rooms and public spaces is intended to further the soothing patient experience.

Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden conducted a study on 160 heart surgery patients in an intensive care unit. The patients were exposed to varied conditions, which included having a nature photograph on the wall, having abstract paintings or having blank walls. Surveys confirmed that patients exposed to scenes with trees, water and green nature were more at ease and needed less pain medicine than those who experienced the other conditions. Several studies have been done with similar results, proving that seeing scenes of nature produces powerful benefits for hospitalized patients.

Vish’s drive for helping others combined with his love of photography inspired him to work on the art for the new women’s and children’s facility. Using his keen eye for spectacular scenes in nature, Vish has traveled to 37 parks and neighborhoods in Louisville to capture local beauty for the facility’s future patients. His photos will be infused onto mediums using a gas sublimation printing process and then placed in the hallways, nursing stations and patient rooms of the hospital.

“I’m not hanging pictures,” Vish said. “I’m creating windows.”

Vish hopes to bring a sense of place to the hospital, helping patients feel at home in an environment that can otherwise bring stress to a family. He does other philanthropic work outside of his law practice, including teaching photography classes to underprivileged youth and serving as the executive director and a board member of the J & L Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on peace, racial harmony and child welfare.

Colleagues at his law firm, Middleton Reutlinger, were so impressed with his work that they converted the top floor of their practice building into an art gallery in January 2006. Executives of Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews hope Vish’s work will inspire their patients just as it did his co-workers, allowing them to benefit from the power in the nature that surrounds us every day.

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About Norton Suburban Hospital
Norton Suburban Hospital currently serves as a full-service, 373-bed community hospital offering inpatient and outpatient medical/surgical care, full diagnostic services and 24-hour emergency care. The hospital specializes in comprehensive cancer prevention, detection and treatment; orthopaedics; neurosurgery; and surgical weight loss services. In 2011 Norton Suburban earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval as a certified advanced primary stroke center offering comprehensive stroke intervention. Through Norton Women’s Care, the hospital offers general and high-risk obstetric and gynecologic care, as well as a surgical unit with private rooms and specialized nursing care just for women. The hospital also is home to the Kosair Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Norton Suburban Hospital, featuring a Level III nursery and on-site neonatal care 24/7.

In January 2012, Norton Suburban began the first phase of its conversion to a women’s and children’s hospital. The entire facility is being reconfigured to provide a transformational model of comprehensive health care for women, along with expanded pediatric services in conjunction with renowned Kosair Children’s Hospital. Once complete, the women’s services component of the facility will be named Norton Women’s , and the pediatric services component will be named Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews. The medical buildings surrounding the hospital will also be renamed Norton Healthcare – St. Matthews Campus, and will house outpatient services available to the entire community.

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