Friday, October 10, 2008


Sometimes you come across the most interesting things at the time you least expect 'em! That's how it was today when Odel and I went to a medical appointment in Tucson.

The doctor's office is in the Tucson Cancer Center. As the experience unfolded, it was a continual (pleasant)surprise.

Coming into the parking lot, we noticed both that there was plenty of parking, and that it was free. Between the parking lot and the entrance was a huge, gorgeously landscaped garden: lush, healthy, colorfully blooming native plants; low, gurgling fountains; paved and graveled walkways and bridges; and comfortable seating. I felt like I was visiting an arboretum.

The restful, captivating garden entrance was a prelude to the interior experience. It was NOTHING like any medical building I have ever visited. Restful, relaxing, even entertaining, of all things!

At the front desk, Odel was given a clipboard thick with forms to be completed, along with a vibrating pager, and told to "check in down the hall with the women next to the piano". Huh? The piano?

Well, sure enough, there was a grand piano in a large, well-lighted, airy lobby - along with shelves of books, tables for puzzles, and comfortable seating. Just off the lobby was a spacious gift shop with... clothing! Great cotton clothing, including brand names I like. Huh?? While Odel filled out forms, I shopped!

After he finished registering, Odel had a new clipboard of more forms (that part seems like standard operating procedure). We went outside and, while he answered pages and pages of medical questionnaires, I strolled the gardens and took photos. Even if you didn't have business at the Cancer Center, this garden would be a great place to bring a sack lunch and relax.

Right on schedule, a nurse came into the garden to take us to Odel's appointment. We learned from the doctor (a very attractive 30-something woman with a sexy french accent - probably the high point of the day for Odel) that the Cancer Center had won an architectural award and been the subject of a recent newscast.

Naturally, I googled it when we got home and learned that it is one of just FOUR health facilities worldwide to win a healthcare building design award from the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health. The other three are in South Korea, China, and New York City. Tucson is lucky to have such a great facility.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful that they acknowledge and treat the WHOLE person. I'm so glad that you're able to do this there..