By Elizabeth Parker, PhD
Construction of an employee garden at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (MMMC) in collaboration with the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is finally complete! Conveniently located on the hospital property close to the cafeteria and employee entrance, this space adds natural beauty and functional resources for hospital employees to have access to the natural environment. The garden will be operated and maintained by the MMMC hospital employees. The planters along the edge of the sidewalk will be used for growing seasonal vegetables, and the lower beds contain flowers that are native to the area. In addition to the vegetable garden and a flower garden, there is also outdoor seating for the employees to sit and relax. Garden aims to add beauty, improve morale and provide edible vegetation to employees.
Recently, MMMC held a Food Day Celebration in the cafeteria and served the salad greens harvested from the garden. They also had enough greens to hand out bags of salad as prizes for a game they played. Wendy Smith, the Clinical Nutrition Manager at MMMC and also a Master Gardener, said they received positive feedback from employees regarding the garden. She said the Food Day Celebration was a great way to promote the garden and build the enthusiasm for participation in garden planning for next year. We expect to hold the grand opening of the garden in the Spring of 2017, and plan to conduct a survey to assess employee satisfaction at that time.
About Elizabeth Parker, PhD
Liz Parker, Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine in the Center for Integrative Medicine, part of University of Maryland School of Medicine, completed her PhD in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (HNFE) and Bachelors of Science in HNFE with a double option in Dietetics and Exercise Health Promotion from Virginia Tech. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer. Her research interests include obesity, energy balance and lifestyle interventions to improve health and chronic disease related outcomes. Liz coordinated the final stages of this project.
Be in the know
Support our programs
Learn with us!
We have great classes for health professionals throughout the year.
Learn more here.
Yoga Teacher TrainingLearn more here.
From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: