Room for 40 to practice yoga, meditation, t’ai chi. A bevy of native plants, trees and shrubbery among a winding pathway edged by benches. Carved cobblestones—offering words of inspiration—encircling a shade tree and spots of peace and contemplation.
This summer, UVA School of Nursing begins work on a new resilience garden that will be named in honor of Dean Dorrie Fontaine, who ends her 11-year tenure this June and retires in the summer of 2020.
Fontaine, who founded the School’s signature Compassionate Care Initiative, this year celebrated the group’s 10th anniversary with a visit from “Being With Dying” creator and Upaya Zen Buddhist Center founder Roshi Joan Halifax, who offered the 2019 Bice Lecture and Medical Center Hour as well as words of praise for Fontaine’s depth of commitment to clinician resilience and self-care.
It was 2009 that Fontaine and nine other faculty and UVA Medical Center clinicians attended Upaya’s “Being With Dying” course in Santa Fe, NM, a place where they arrived largely as strangers, and left as comrade clinicians with a cause. That trip marked the beginning of the formation of the School’s now-signature Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI), which has for the last decade offered thousands of drop-in classes ranging from yoga, t’ai chi, and meditation to the creative arts, including painting, music, writing, and knitting, along with a steady diet of retreats, workshops, a speaker series, and more than a half-dozen new classes focused on self-care.
Since founding CCI, Fontaine has lectured around the world, offering keynote addresses at more than 200 gatherings around the globe.
Ground for the yet-to-be-named garden takes place this summer; Richmond-based landscape architecture firm HG Design will oversee its design and installation. The garden is expected to be finished by early 2020.