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Vital Signs

Spring bulbs light up the DHMC campus

Poets discovered the daffodil long ago: "And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils," enthused William Wordsworth in 1807. Health-care professionals have more recently become devotees of the cheery spring flower. In 1970, the American Cancer Society adopted the daffodil as a symbol of hope. And daffodils—as well as tulips and daylilies, all planted by volunteers—have brightened the grounds of DHMC since the 1991 move to the Lebanon campus.

More recently, in 2000, the Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center sponsored the creation of a Garden of Hope, featuring winding stone walkways, secluded benches—and lots of flowers. During the past two years, however, as DHMC's Project for Progress expansion was under way, more tools and construction equipment than blooms and greenery were in evidence. But this spring, the Garden of Hope will be a garden once more—a quiet refuge where patients, visitors, and staff can slow down and pay attention to their spiritual health amidst the therapeutic beauty of nature.

The Garden of Hope was inspired by the Zen gardens in Kyoto, Japan. Dr. O. Ross McIntyre, former director of the Cancer Center, recalls observing visitors there "sit quietly on a bench alongside the garden and stare at it, while strength to face what comes flow[ed] from the garden into them."

DHMC has now taken over ongoing maintenance of the Garden of Hope, while the Friends plan to revive the twiceyearly planting parties they used to host to encourage local residents to take part in the improvement of the flower beds. "People would bring sandwiches and share a few hours of their day," recalls Judith Rocchio, a former NCCC staff member.

Paul Goundrey, grounds engineering supervisor for the Medical Center, looks forward to having even more flowers around DHMC. The daffodils, daylilies, and tulips, he says, truly make the Medical Center "complete."


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Dartmouth Medical SchoolDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College