Our fight has ended but the spirit and legacy of the Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital (1956-2016) will live on in countless memories for decades to come.
Our profound gratitude to all who have aided in this effort.
Prouty Garden Supporters Won’t Appeal Court Ruling on Boston Children Hospital’s $1 Billion Expansion Project
Decision ends four-year legal battle to preserve beloved Prouty Garden
BOSTON – April 30, 2019 – Friends of Prouty Garden today announced they would not appeal the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s April 19th decision which upheld the Superior Court’s dismissal of their complaint about the state Department of Public Health’s slack regulatory process and its role in Boston Children’s Hospital’s $1 billion expansion project. The decision effectively ends a four-year legal battle to preserve the historic Prouty Garden, which served as a tranquil oasis for ailing children and their families for more than 50 years.
“As a group of private citizens and professionals working to compel the state to uphold its own regulatory review process and to control the growth of healthcare costs in Massachusetts, we are only able to carry the banner so far. It is now up to Boston Children’s Hospital to deliver the results it promised to the state; it is up to the Department of Public Health to enforce the cost control conditions it imposed on the largest hospital construction project in Massachusetts history,” said Gustave Murby, spokesperson for Friends of Prouty Garden. “The proof will be what happens to the cost of healthcare for Massachusetts’ patients and to other Massachusetts’ health care providers. Will the large hospitals follow BCH’s lead on high prices? Will the life be sucked out of the community-based hospitals all around the state?”
Friends of Prouty Garden is comprised of former patients, parents and family members of patients, physicians and caregivers, staff members, hospital donors and many others. The group rallied to prevent BCH bulldozing the precious, unique healing garden at the ground floor of the hospital. The group pointed out significant flaws in the hospital’s plan and tried to hold the hospital and the state Department of Public Health accountable for reviewing the plan and rejecting it on the merits. The cost-control law, dating to the 1960s and a model in the nation, gives the DPH considerable power to investigate and control the economics of new and expensive health care facilities to try to hold the line on notoriously high medical costs in Massachusetts.
Despite the latest ruling, the Friends of Prouty Garden campaign accomplished several milestones, including raising the visibility of the entire concept of healing gardens at hospitals, which more visionary and humane healthcare centers in the U.S. are embracing. The Friends pointed out the legal, regulatory, political and public relations missteps that BCH made along the way and highlighted the financial folly of relying on international patients at a time when nations in the Middle East and Near East are building their own hospitals, and the U.S. is sharply curtailing visitors from those regions.
“We were dogged in our determination to wage this legal battle in the fight against health care becoming a cold business, devoid of the compassionate traditions of the health care profession. We have also always been, and remain, friends of the staff of Boston Children’s Hospital, but we deplore the hospital’s departure from world class use of nature in healing,” Murby said. “Each one of us, through our own varied experiences, understands and appreciates the deep commitment of Boston Children’s Hospital’s staff to their patients’ well-being – in all aspects of their patients’ lives that called for healing. We now wish them all the best as they move into this next phase of Boston Children’s Hospital’s legacy as a leading pediatric hospital without nature at the core.”
“The spirit of Prouty Garden will live forever in our hearts, and in our souls,” Murby concluded.