June 1, 2011

Tree donated by grateful patient of UW Regional Heart Center

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

A young sugar pine tree outside the UW Medical Center Surgery Pavilion stands as a growing reminder of Andrew Russells gratitude. Russell, a former patient at the UW Regional Heart Center, donated the tree on behalf of all patients of the center, and as one way to acknowledge the staff and the outstanding care he received.

Former patient Andrew Russell, kneeling,with the sugar pine tree donated in recognition of the staff and care provided at the UW Regional Heart Center. See end of story for the names of others in the photo

Former patient Andrew Russell, kneeling,with the sugar pine tree donated in recognition of the staff and care provided at the UW Regional Heart Center. See end of story for the names of others in the photo

In addition to commending the entire staff at the Regional Heart Center, Russell acknowledged the team leaders involved with his case: physician Mohan Viswanathan, UW assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, registered nurse Maryrose Trubiroha and nurse practitioner Monica Knapp, teaching associate in the Division of Cardiology.

“I would hope that the presence of this pine tree would complement the healing and nurturing spirit practiced by all the team members of the Cardiology Diagnostic Center and provide a source of wonder and peace for all who gaze upon her,” wrote Russell in a letter about his gift.

“Its rare enough that we get any feedback from patients about their experience,” said John S. Capps, administrator of the UW Medicine Regional Heart Center. “This is a delightful example of Andy and Denise [Russells] sharing, in a unique fashion, an eloquent gesture of thanks, saying, ‘I enjoyed my care and everyone who touched my care here.” Capps added: “It meant quite a bit to the staff and the physicians involved in his care, and it means a lot to all of us at the Regional Heart Center.”

The tree, which Russell nurtured from a seed from a fallen cone, was planted in a ceremony May 10. Now about three feet tall, the tree is expected to reach a height of over 190 feet when mature. You can find the tree on the lawn just south of the walking path on the south end of the Surgery Pavilion.

In the photo above. joining Andrew Russell (kneeling) at the May 10 tree planting ceremony are (from left): Jordan Prutkin, acting assistant professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology; Steve Zieniewicz, executive director of UW Medical Center; Monica Knapp, teaching associate, Division of Cardiology; Denise Russell, Andrew Russells wife; Donna Nyenhuis, nurse coordinator, Electrophysiology Laboratory; Jeanne Poole, professor of medicine and director,  Electrophysiology Laboratory; Mary Trubiroha, registered nurse; and Mohan Viswanathan, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology.