Spring is in full bloom, and the gardens at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) are no exception, thanks to a special team of volunteers. All year long, a group of 15 experts from the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners Association cares for the gardens in and around the hospital. Each week, every plant at the hospital gets a check-up from these volunteers with green thumbs and big hearts.
"When people look at our gardens, we hope it helps them to reduce stress," said Barbara Voigt, a master gardener volunteer at JCMC. "We cater to patients, visitors and team members, and they can all come and enjoy the gardens and de-stress from whatever might be bothering them."
The gardens at JCMC help to improve the atmosphere for patients and their visitors.
"By providing beautiful and calming outdoor spaces in which patients and guests can rest or meditate, our Volunteer Master Gardeners are a vital part of our patient-centered care philosophy," said Trish Hamilton, supervisor of volunteer and auxiliary resources.
Recently, Volunteer Master Gardeners at JCMC received a first place award in the state-wide Master Gardener Search for Excellence program. The group was recognized in the community service category for their work on the entrance gardens at JCMC. The Search for Excellence awards program was created by the University of Tennessee's Agriculture Extension Service to honor gardeners for outstanding contributions to their communities.