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In 2013, Board Chairman Alex Condron, Hospital President Terri Petrick, S&T Bank's Rob Jorgenson, Emily McClelland and Laurie Garzarelli of Martha Mack Lewis Foundation, Foundation President Mary Lee Gannon, Auxiliary President Pat Severance, and Hospital Board Chairman Neil Van Horn break ground for the new patient family resource pavilion.

The concept of a Neil Y. Van Horn Pavilion and the Helen and Miles Colwell Garden of Hope at St. Margaret Hospital was initiated by St. Margaret Foundation to enhance the patient experience. The Foundation understands that 100% of the 1 million people that frequent this campus on an annual basis would prefer not to be at a hospital. They and their family members are filled with anxiety and fear over an illness. They have many questions regarding their condition, upcoming procedure, newly diagnosed disease, diagnostic testing or new medication. Additionally, the average stay in a hospital is four days and often family members need a serene place to reflect, plan and seek resources to find comfort and make difficult decisions away from the bedside. They may need help with something as simple as borrowing a cell phone charger to more complicated advice such as resources for assisted living arrangements. They may have spent the night in the emergency room and while awaiting the surgery of a loved one just need a comfortable place to put up their feet and rest quietly. This Pavilion will address these needs in a peaceful setting.

The Pavilion is open 24-hours a day and provide free books, newspapers, magazines, booklets and other information on various diseases and treatment options in a healing surrounding of plants and music therapy. It has a medical librarian to help patients and families responsibly research a difficult diagnosis, various home care programs, or other medical services as well as to just serve as a source of comfort in this process. The medical librarian will serve as a medical resource for other libraries in the community.

The Resource Pavilion serves four functions:

  1. A calm escape away from the bedside for patients and family members to read or relax. Lectures may be given here in the off hours.  

  2. A medical library for patients and family members to find free health information and free pamphlets and resources with the oversight of a medical librarian.

  3. An electronic resource center for families and patients to access computers, make a phone call, send a fax, run off printed material, charge a cell phone and access other electronic needs to restore them to their daily routine.

  4. A 2,000 square foot Garden of Hope will provide a serene escape in a natural setting.


This Pavilion and Garden of Hope will be quiet space in a homelike atmosphere and will be open to the general public. Studies support that patient education improves prognosis and decreases the length of a hospital stay, decreasing medical costs overall. Without philanthropy the projects will not exist.

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