Astria Sunnyside Hospital Cancer Center officially opens new Healing Garden with ribbon-cutting ceremony and mammogram screening event.

Over the past year, the Astria Sunnyside Hospital Cancer Center has undertaken a considerable landscaping project inspired by the spouse of one of its patients. On Thursday, September 28, the community is invited to attend the ribbon cutting at 1013 E Edison Avenue in Sunnyside. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness, staff will be available to schedule mammograms for community members until 5pm that afternoon.

The Healing Garden ribbon-cutting ceremony will also include an open house of the Cancer Center so that the community may learn more about cancer services offered in Sunnyside, as well as Astria Health’s two Board-Certified Hematologist/Oncologists providing care, Mahat Inklab, MD, and Amer Khouri, MD. Light refreshments will be offered. The ribbon-cutting will take place at 1pm on September 28, followed by the open house and mammography scheduling event, remaining open until 5pm. Community members are encouraged to explore the new Healing Garden and schedule their own annual mammography screenings at either Astria Sunnyside Hospital or Astria Toppenish Hospital.

“This event is a very important one. The Healing Garden itself is a permanent reminder of the importance of annual cancer screenings. It was created to provide a space for patients to reflect, relax, and heal, before and after their treatment,” said Brian Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer and President of Astria Sunnyside Hospital. “Opening the garden with an event that allows the public to view the Cancer Center and then schedule their own screenings is a way that we not only care for ourselves, but we can also pay respect to those who have lost their battle with cancer,” Gibbons continued.

The Healing Garden project kicked off in August 2022 with great support from staff, community members, and local businesses. “Our staff and community truly came together to build something beautiful for our patients to enjoy. Its heartwarming to see the cooperation of all in building this place of meditation and healing,” said Elizabeth Martinez, RN, Oncology Department Director. “What started as just a dream, has now become a beautiful reality,” she continued.

The year-long project was funded through extraordinary community and staff support, the sale of engraved brick pavers, in-kind donations from local businesses, a grant from the Home Depot, as well as cash donations. The results of all the donations and labor donated by enthusiastic community members and staff, is a beautiful garden with a water feature, winding brick-paved pathway, pavilion with picnic tables, and a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals that display a continually changing variety of color throughout the seasons.

“Cancer treatment is a process that can take significant time for patients and their families in our clinic. When we first envisioned this garden, it was always in our minds to create a place of healing and peace for patients and families to use during, and after their treatments. We have achieved what we set out to accomplish for our patients,” said Martinez.

Anyone interested in purchasing an engraved brick paver can still do so, as the pathway continues to be filled in by supporters. Funds from the sale of brick pavers, as well as cash donations, will benefit the Astria Health Foundation’s “Wings of Love” program. The fund directly benefits Astria Health cancer patients facing financial difficulties during treatment. Healing Garden donations are tax-deductible.

To learn more about the Healing Garden project, please visit Donations can be made online by credit card or cash, or checks made payable to Astria Health Foundation.

Astria Health, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley, is a non-profit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington. Astria Health is the parent organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, along with 23 outpatient clinics offering primary care and specialty services, including but not limited to behavioral health, home health and hospice, neurosurgery, oncology, podiatry, rehabilitation therapy, orthopedics, and sleep medicine. For more information, visit

Posted September 20, 2023

Astria Sunnyside Hospital Cancer Center officially opens new Healing Garden with ribbon-cutting ceremony and mammogram screening event.

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