NJ Sharing Network's Meditation Garden Helps Families Cope
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the "Landscape of Life" Meditation Garden Dedication at the NJ Sharing Network and speaks with the NJ Sharing Network’s VP and Chief Administrative Officer, Elisse Glennon, and the designer of the garden, Muzi Li, a Rutgers University graduate student, about the role a meditation garden will play in helping families remember and celebrate their loved ones.
"We're here at the New Jersey Sharing Network with Elisse Glennon, who has a very detailed but important title, vice president and chief administrative officer, New Jersey Sharing Network, and executive director, New Jersey Sharing Network Foundation. Elisse, today, right outside the window, we just talked to Joe Roth, your colleague, talk about this meditation garden and its significance. Oh gosh, our families are so important to us, our donor families, our recipient families, the families of those patients waiting, they're just so important to us, this garden gives them a place to come and reflect on what's happening in their lives, it allows our staff to take a break, from the daily work, the hard work that they're doing, and come and really reflect about why it is that we all work here, why it is that we do the work that we do, and a space to interact with our families, in a much more serene space than doing it in an office. Elisse, we've had many conversations, and we've collaborated for several years now, in terms of public awareness around organ and tissue donation, but you mentioned something about the staff, that has me wanting to follow up, describe some of that work so people really understand, it's one thing to give the gift of life, which is extraordinary for our family and a family member to say, "I want to be an organ and tissue... someone who donates my organs and my tissues." But let's talk about my tissue, talk about the staff and what they do. We have a very highly trained and effective staff, they are extremely compassionate. So you can imagine that dealing with death on a daily basis, tragic stories, it really impacts them personally. They're not just focused on the medicine, and ensuring that we allocate the organs to the right recipients. They are really caring for the families, they become part of the family in many cases, and as you know, it's very challenging to place an organ with a recipient, a match to get the perfect match every time, and one of the things that wears on them so much is that to ensure that we can just make it happen for the family, that if a family says yes to donation, and they really want to donate their loved one's heart to save someone else, that we can make that happen without any medical hiccups. So they do need to take time away from that to pause and get ready to be able to support the next family the next time..."