As patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals continue to fight the good fight at Renown Regional Medical Center, they will also have a beautiful space for respite and recovery in the newly renovated Fianna’s Healing Garden.
“For more than a decade, our staff, patients, and their loved ones have found peace and solace in spending time in Fianna’s Healing Garden,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, FACHE, president and CEO of Renown Health. “I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to all who played a role in the garden’s renovation, and those who bring such beauty to our campus. I hope everyone gets a chance to experience the garden’s healing effects, and with it, the beautiful legacy Fianna and her incredible family continues today.”
Fianna Dickson Combs, one of Dickson Realty’s founders, a longtime Reno resident, business leader, and master gardener, shared Renown’s belief in the healing power of nature. Fianna lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2008 and her family and friends carried out her wishes after she passed away, opening the original healing garden in 2009 to benefit patients and caregivers.
Today, the garden continues to grow—the expansion includes connected walking paths, fountains, benches, and seating areas, additional sculptures, and a grass area with a covered pavilion.
Fianna’s Healing Garden is open to patients, their supporters, and employees. The expanded healing garden now spans 28,388 square feet and includes the following new features:
- More than 2,000 plants and trees
- A covered pavilion on the east side of the garden offers protection from the elements and can seat up to 75 people. Featured on the back wall of the pavilion is a stunning mural of Mt. Rose. Supported by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation
- 1,257 square feet of natural grass located in front of the pavilion, allowing garden guests a beautiful, relaxing spot to picnic. Supported by the Reno Aces
- A traditional rose garden featuring a variety of 20 different award-winning David Austin roses. Supported by the Fennell and Dickson families
- A weeping cherry tree dedicated to healthcare heroes for their extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and to those in our community who lost their lives.
Fianna’s legacy is sustained through the work of her family, friends, and community members. Fianna’s family, who are also key members of the Dickson Realty executive team, played an important role in the expansion and helped lead the effort to generate more than $800,000 in community support. Her brother, Harvey Fennell, sister-in-law Nancy Fennell, and oldest daughter, Rebecca Dickson lead the charge for fundraising. Fianna’s other brother and architect Thomas M. Fennell designed the garden’s new pavilion along with Dale Cox Architects in Reno.
“On behalf of Renown Health Foundation, we would like to thank Becca Dickson, Harvey and Nancy Fennell for all their hard work and leadership on this project,” said Greg Walaitis, chief development officer of Renown Health Foundation. They knew Fianna’s vision and brought together the community support to make it a stunning reality. We thank them for their extraordinary gift of this garden to help improve the health and wellness of patients, families, and caregivers.”
The garden is meant to create a space where people can step out of the hospital for a moment to regroup and replenish, said Dickson, vice president of the Dickson Luxury Division.
“It brings me great joy knowing my mother’s contribution to Renown has already made a difference in the lives of countless individuals in need of comfort and relief,” said Dickson. “The renovated garden has even more places to sit, reflect, walk, picnic, read, or talk, all while embracing nature’s beauty. I can think of no better way to honor my mother’s legacy, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support of our friends and family to bring this project to life.”