LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2012) – When Norton Suburban Hospital becomes Norton Women’s Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews, it will be filled with nature photos taken by a Louisville attorney with a passion for photography.
Findings from several studies show that hospital gardens and photos of nature have medical benefits for patients. Donald Vish researched those studies and was fascinated with the findings. The attorney is furnishing Norton Women’s Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital – St. Matthews with photographs he took in 37 parks and neigborhoods in Louisville.
Norton Women’s Hospital 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. Norton 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.