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Planetree Initiative

Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) is committed to creating strategies that distinguish our medical center as a leader in providing the highest level of innovative quality care.  That being said, the medical center implemented an organization-wide humanistic approach recognizing the significance of each of our patients, their families, as well as our colleagues. 

In 2001, HackensackUMC was the first in the state of New Jersey to become an affiliate of Planetree™.  This non-profit organization, headquartered in Derby, Connecticut, partners with hospitals to improve their patient experience through a patient- family-centered model of health care delivery.

The origin of Planetree’s name is from the Eucalyptus tree or Planetree under which Hippocrates, the founding father of medicine, taught his students.  He believed that by providing a beautiful environment in which to teach, his students would be more receptive to learning.  Hippocrates was one of the first to propose that a connection between the body, mind and spirit may exist, as well identifying the importance of relationships between patients and caregivers.  Thus, the name Planetree represents a model of care that assists hospitals in anticipating and meeting the needs and concerns of patients and families, as well as ensuring patients’ well-being, comfort, and dignity are the paramount concerns.

The Planetree model of care is a patient-centered, holistic approach.  It promotes mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical healing.  Also, important is this model empowers patients and families through the sharing of information and encourages the creation of healing partnerships with caregivers.  It seeks to maximize positive healthcare outcomes by integrating the best of medical technology while incorporating art and nature into the healing environment.


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