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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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New Outdoor Space Provides Inviting Space For All Patients

Patient enjoys the Serenity Garden
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Veteran Mary Combs hadn’t felt fresh air or sunshine on her face in two months. As an inpatient in the MICU, Combs was connected to quite a few medical devices, to include a ventilator. Each patient comes with challenges, and it takes some thinking outside the box to come up with ideas for different therapies. This is exactly what Dr. Jay Peters, Chief of Pulmonary Critical Care, was prepared to do for Ms. Combs.

Gathering staff members, which included Drs. Nicholas Fleming and Payal Patel, Mildred Glover, RN, Edgar Castaneda, CNA and Elias Martinez, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Dr. Peters decided to take his patient outside for some sunshine and fresh air. Logistically, this presented a challenge, but the group was up to it, and got together to escort Ms. Combs outside to the CLC Serenity Garden, a relatively new area that is available for all patients.

After about 20 minutes outside in the beautiful Texas weather, the staff moved Ms. Combs back to her room. While there may be no correlation, Ms. Combs improved and was transferred, just a few days later, to an area which required only intermediate care.  Sometimes it’s the little things, the thinking outside the box, that can make all the difference.


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