On September 24, 2013, friends, family, and hospital officials gathered to honor and thank Princeton resident Leonard Punia, who donated $2 million to University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) during the recently completed $171 million Design for Healing campaign. A portion of Mr. Punia’s gift created the Punia Family Healing Garden, in memory of his beloved wife, Renee Denmark Punia, who passed away in 2009.
Barry Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS), welcomed more than 65 attendees and offered guests a tour of the garden, located outside the JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Infusion Therapy Suite at UMCPP. “The Punia Family Healing Garden is such a wonderful space at our new hospital,” Mr. Rabner said. “I know that patients, family, physicians, and staff will use the space to find quiet comfort. I would like to thank Leonard for his generous support of our campaign and for his friendship over the past few years.”
In addition to mature trees, perennial flowering plants, shrubbery, walkways, and a bubbling reflecting pool, the garden also houses two sculptures. Remembrance of Gifts Past, made possible by a gift from PHCS Foundation Board Chairman Kim Pimley, is the only commissioned piece of art on the Plainsboro campus. Constructed of steel and bronze, the sculpture stands more than 10 feet tall. The artist, le Corbeau, of Hopewell, NJ, forged the bronze elements of the piece out of the donor plaques from the former hospital in Princeton.
“It is especially meaningful to me that this sculpture has a home on our new healthcare campus,” said Princeton resident Ms. Pimley. “It enables us to honor all of our donors since 1919, whose generous gifts have made our hospital into the outstanding deliverer of health care that it is today.” The garden is also the home of the Super Ellipse, a three-dimensional sculpture by the renowned Danish poet and scientist Dr. Piet Hein. This piece was generously donated by area residents Kirsten Roed and her daughter Jeanette Roed, both longtime supporters of PHCS. The Ellipse illustrates the one curve relating to both the circle and the rectangle, symbolizing perfect harmony.
Princeton resident Leonard Punia officially opens the Punia Family Healing Garden at UMCPP, as Barry S. Rabner, PHCS President and CEO, looks on. The garden, outside the JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Infusion Therapy Suite at UMCPP, is one of the several features at the new hospital made possible by Mr. Punia's $2 million donation to the Design for Healing campaign.
Remembrance of Gifts Past by le Corbeau. It stands in the Punia Family Healing Garden and was made possible by a generous gift from Kim Pimley, Chairman, Princeton HealthCare System Foundation Board of Directors.
Article as seen in Foundation News Winter 2013.