Inova Mount Vernon Hospital Earns Outstanding Program Award for Mid-Atlantic Region

four hospital workers
Recreational therapists Ted Denning, Maria Bruce, Paula Berntsen pose with registered horticultural therapist Jan Lane. Please note: This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so does not include PPE or social distancing, which are in practice at Inova.

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s horticultural therapy program has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network (MAHTN) Outstanding Program Award. Each year, MAHTN recognizes horticultural therapists and programs that consistently demonstrate outstanding achievement throughout the NY, NJ, PA, MD and VA regions.

Team members Ted Denning, Maria Bruce, Paula Berntsen and registered horticultural therapist Jan Lane accepted the award at MAHTN’s annual conference via Zoom on Oct. 24.

The program is one of the unique therapies offered at the Inova Rehabilitation Center on the campus of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, VA.

woman working with potted plants in an outdoor pavilion
Jan Lane, horticultural therapist, organizes potted plants in Inova Mount Vernon’s outdoor pavilion.

“Horticulture therapy is a unique program within our renowned inpatient rehabilitation center,” said Roberta Tinch, MHA, FACHE, President, Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and Administrator of Inova’s Musculoskeletal Service Line. “We are proud to be recognized by MAHTN for meeting the robust criteria for this award. Horticulture therapy is just one of the many programs we offer our rehabilitation patients to help them regain the skills needed to return to their fullest lives.”

Inova Mount Vernon’s horticultural therapy program started in June 2019 as part of the Therapeutic Recreation department and in partnership with Jan Lane, HTR, of GardenLane, LLC.

patient displaying a craft project
A patient proudly shows off her art project.

In coordination with recreation, physical, occupational and speech therapists, patients engage in different garden-related activities each week, including arranging flowers, propagating and potting plants, and other activities. Therapy takes place in the hospital’s outdoor rehabilitation pavilion or inside during inclement weather.

“Horticultural therapy offers patients a number of benefits including improved memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills and socialization. It can also help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance and endurance,” Jan said. “It is a joy to see patients get such a sense of accomplishment as they work to complete a project and make progress toward their therapeutic goals as well.”

About Inova Mount Vernon Hospital

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital is home to the nationally recognized Inova Joint Replacement Center and the Inova Rehabilitation Center. Both are ranked among the top orthopedic and rehabilitation programs in the country. In 2016, the hospital opened the Veatch Family Emergency Department, a state-of-the-art facility with 35 all-private treatment rooms, new cardiac emergency rooms and a child-friendly pediatric treatment area. The hospital is also the administrative and clinical home for the Inova Wound Healing Center, the region’s largest and most experienced of its kind. Inova Mount Vernon Hospital also administers Inova HealthPlex – Lorton, a full-service healthcare facility that combines the latest technology with a comprehensive array of services, including a 24-hour emergency department, radiology and laboratory services.

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