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Rhea R. McCandliss 1967 Speech

A reflection on our past, a glimpse into the future.

Submitted by: Derrick Stowell, AHTA Immediate Past President

In October 1967, Rhea R. McCandliss gave a talk at the professional staff meeting of Menninger Memorial Hospital located at the time in Topeka, KS. Rhea was instrumental in the development of the horticultural therapy profession. She was instrumental in the founding of the National Council for Therapy and Rehabilitation through Horticulture in 1973, now called the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). She also conducted a valuable national study of hospitals using horticulture as therapy 1968 (Relf, 2019). Over the years the AHTA has collected publications and writings of those in the profession. I recently read McCandliss’ essay, I felt that the words spoken in 1967 are still important for our profession today. One statement in this speech clarified the difference between simply gardening and horticultural therapy:

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New HERD Research Paper: Effects of Biophilic Nature Imagery

Effects of Biophilic Nature Imagery on Indexes of Satisfaction in Medically Complex Physical Rehabilitation Patients: An Exploratory Study

Recent research concludes that the presence of biophilic nature imagery has a significant effect on a patient's experience during hospital stays. These findings have implications in settings where real nature is prohibited by logistics or infection protocols and support the benefits of nature exposure for those who might not have the opportunity due to their medical situation. 

Matthew J. Wichrowski, MSW, HTR | John R. Corcoran, DPT | Francois Haas, Ph.D. | Greg Sweeney, DPT | Arlene Mcgee, RN, MA, MS

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