GSU-LB-Aug26-Oct9 2019

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields coworkers and physicians planted 367 pinwheels in the hospital’s Pinwheel Garden of Hope and Health. Each pinwheel planted Wednesday, May 20, represents one COVID-19 patient who has been discharged from the hospital. 

The garden, located in front of the hospital’s Main Entrance on Crawford Avenue, is a celebration of the health of COVID-19 patients and a sign of hope for the south suburban Chicago community. New pinwheels will be added weekly.

“This colorful garden is a symbol of hope and inspiration for our healthcare team and the community we serve,” said Mari Lynn Ross, chief nursing officer at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. “Every one of these pinwheels is a victory for our caregivers, our patients and their families. In an area that has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, it is encouraging to see that people are getting better and going home.” 

Prior to planting the pinwheel garden, Sister M. Ruth Luthman, OSF, vice president of Mission Integration, cited a scripture passage for motivation: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope …” (1 Peter 3:15). The “gardeners,” pinwheels and the garden space were blessed by Rev. Phil Cyscon, Spiritual Care chaplain. 

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields has created several ways that hospital staff celebrate the hope found in COVID-19 patient milestones. In addition to the Pinwheel Garden, the hospital has been playing music on its public address system: “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles for COVID-19 patients who have been extubated, and the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” every time a COVID-19 patient is discharged. 

Additionally, a Franciscan Health nurse created a “success board” that includes a tally of patients removed from a ventilator and the number of discharged patients. 

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