Health Benefits of Nearby Nature
Drs. Roger S. Ulrich and Geoffrey Donovan
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 7 – 9 p.m.
Portland State University’s Hoffmann Hall
1833 SW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR
Many evidence-based researchers, Dr. Roger S. Ulrich among them, have found that purposefully-designed gardens in healthcare settings improve health outcomes for patients. But did you know that there is a quantifiable relationship between the presence of trees and public health? In his research, Dr. Geoffrey Donovan has found that to be the case. Both Ulrich and Donovan will talk on the Health Benefits of Nearby Nature, Thursday September 12 , 2013 at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
Ulrich has found that patients who view “representations” of nature can also find relief from stress and discomfort. For example, heart surgery patients at a Swedish hospital intensive care unit experienced reduced anxiety and less need for pain medication by looking at pictures depicting trees and water. Over the years, Ulrich’s work has received many awards and has directly impacted the design of billions of dollars of hospital construction, and improved the health outcomes and safety of patients worldwide. The Sweden-based professor and former director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A&M University, developed a Theory of Evidence-Based Design; his theory has become influential as a scientifically grounded guide for creating successful healthcare facilities. Ulrich will discuss his recent work involving the effects of single- versus multi-bed patient rooms on infection transmission; the negative impacts of hospital noise on patients and nurses; and how nature, gardens, and art can lessen pain, stress, and healthcare costs.
Ulrich’s co-presenter, Dr. Donovan, is a research forester with the USDA Forest Service who has quantified a wide range of urban-tree benefits. These have ranged from intuitive benefits— for example, reduced summertime cooling costs—to less intuitive benefits such as crime reduction. His recent findings on the relationship between trees and public health, for instance, show that mothers with trees near their homes are less likely to have underweight babies. He has also shown a connection between trees destroyed by invasive pests and a higher human death rate from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory disease.
Register online for Health Benefits of Nearby Nature.