MossRehab Adds Therapeutic Conservatory

APRIL 4, 2014
The dream of a dedicated space to grow MossRehab's horticultural therapy program has become a reality thanks to the generosity of Montgomery County residents Alice and Herbert Sachs.

The Alice and Herbert Sachs Therapeutic Conservatory, dedicated on April 10, 2014, will allow more patients to meet their rehabilitation goals by combining therapy with gardening, as well as offer a beautiful, unexpected oasis for patients and their families to seek respite.

It was personal experience that inspired the Sachs' to collaborate on this project with MossRehab. During visits with a family member being treated at Rusk Rehab at NYU Langone Medical Center, they spent time at Rusk's therapeutic conservatory. "It was such a wonderful sanctuary and respite," recalls Alice Sachs. "It was a place where patients and their families could remove themselves from the hospital setting and just relax."

So struck by the importance of the conservatory in the ongoing healing process, the Sachs' were determined to try to replicate the therapeutic and communal advantages to benefit patients in their own community. Once introduced to MossRehab, the Sachs' immediately found a place where their vision was embraced. The collaborative relationship has resulted in the construction of an operational greenhouse and therapy center that allows patients and their families to share in new therapeutic activities that contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

"Alice and Herbert Sachs presented us with a unique and wonderful opportunity to do something to enhance the patient care experience at MossRehab," explains Ruth Lefton, Chief Operating Officer at MossRehab. "They have been the heart and soul of this project and we are grateful that they choose us to help make their dream a reality."

The high-tech conservatory has three distinct areas (Work, Grow, Show) that combine to form a warm, functional environment. "Work" is a space for therapy and treatment; "grow" is a working greenhouse to support the therapy and activities of the horticultural center; "show" is a plant-filled respite space for patients and visitors. Features of the conservatory include those found in modern, commercial greenhouses with many "green" components that include a living wall, stones from the Wissahickon Creek, finished concrete, natural cedar trim, a calming water feature, and day lighting.

"Our experience put into perspective how important it is to make a difference in the lives of others when you have the opportunity," says Herbert Sachs. "We want to feel that we have helped in the long-term. The partnership with MossRehab has allowed us to seize the moment and, we hope, have a positive impact on the patients, families and communities they serve." 

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Kerry O'Connor
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215-456-6734 
OConnKer@einstein.edu

Judy Horwitz
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215-456-6767
HorwitzJ@einstein.edu