With the help of local Girl Scout Grace Flemer, South Georgia Medical Center introduced a new level of care through its Green & Giving initiative this week. The project, adopted by SGMC’s Volunteer Auxiliary, strives to positively influence service and care by presenting patients with a living plant on their third day at the hospital.
“SGMC Volunteer Auxiliary recognizes that longer hospital stays can be taxing on patients and through Grace’s project we hope to positively lift the patient experience and satisfaction by offering this unique service,” said Jessica Parker, SGMC Volunteer Services Supervisor. Grace planned Green & Giving for her Girl Scout Gold Award service project, the highest award attainable in Girl Scouts.
While researching ideas that would benefit the hospital and health care community, she found that plants in hospital rooms helped patients heal faster due to the soothing effects of ornamental horticulture. “I thought it would be a great way to offer patient therapy while at the hospital and even after, as the patients can take their plants home,” said Grace. “The high level of caring and personal touch of the Volunteer Auxiliary provided the perfect avenue for delivering the plants.”
Jessica mentored Grace throughout the development of the project, which included identifying resources, support and budget needs. The Council on Auxiliaries/Volunteers of the Georgia Hospital Association requires participation in annual community outreach initiatives to be eligible for annual achievement awards. Grace presented the project to the SGMC Auxiliary Board where it was determined that they would support the initiative through a pilot on its 3 West Unit.
The plants are provided by the SGMC Auxiliary Board in partnership with Southern Gardens. Grace offered the first plant to patient Cammy Mulligan, alongside Volunteer Services Supervisor Jessica Parker and Jennifer Musser, RN on Monday. Grace is a Senior at Valwood School where she is an active member of the Girl Scouts Valwood Troup #40294, led by Ms. Patty Wilson, Valwood Interact Club, Valdosta/Lowndes County YoungLife and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
She is the current Varsity Football Cheer Co-Captain and has served on the Lowndes Youth Leadership League, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Teen Leadership Conference Planning Committee and National Girl Scout Leadership Institute. For more information on the Green & Giving project at SGMC, contact Volunteer Services at 229-259-4412.