The Christian-David Family Pet Park Dedicated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center

Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Christian-David Family Pet Park was dedicated during a special ceremony at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Gainesville Monday afternoon.  The park, which complements NGMC’s long-standing inpatient pet therapy program, was made possible through a signature gift from Murray and Daphne David (nee Christian) to The Medical Center Foundation.

“I think most of us here can relate to the power of unconditional love by a pet.  There’s something very special about the interaction with a pet that warms the heart and soul,” said Carol Burrell, president & CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System.  “I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of our community and how friends like Murray and Daphne David make possible unique healing spaces like this special park that create exceptional patient experiences.”

Studies have found pet owners benefit tremendously from interaction with their pets – both physically and psychologically – and NGMC Gainesville will become one of few hospitals in the country to offer patients the opportunity to be comforted by their own pet in an on-site, outdoor park when The Christian-David Family Pet Park officially opens this summer.

“Our dog, Leo, and cat, Pumpkin are so near and dear to our family, that we can only imagine how much a visit with our pets would lift our spirits if Murray or I had an extended stay in the hospital,” said Daphne David.  “We wanted to create a place that’s not only dedicated for these visits, but one that also allows patients to get outside and gives clinicians an outdoor option for conducting pet therapy.”

The 3,200 square-foot, garden-like visitation area is located outside NGMC Gainesville’s South Patient Tower, near the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit.  The space features a five-foot-high fence, controlled access gate, handicap access, fresh water station, seating and plenty of shade for pets and patients alike.  Oversized, colorful, pet-safe plantings line the bluestone patio and walkway, while the carefully chosen slate chips and dwarf mondo grass are gentle on paws.  The David’s donation includes a maintenance endowment that ensures long term sustainability of the park.

“The Christian-David Family Pet Park is highly personalized,” said Jim Moore, Chairman of The Medical Center Foundation.  “Given their incredible love for nature and the outdoors, Murray and Daphne have been hands-on in the plant selection to ensure plantings to be non-poisonous and pet friendly.”

“The uniqueness of this outdoor destination allows patients to visit with their very own pet, one family at a time, and will be coordinated through the hospital’s Guest Services,” said, Nancy Colston, president and chief development officer of The Medical Center Foundation.  “We are grateful for the Murrays’ gift of this one-of-a-kind pet park that provides a happy place and enhances the healing environment, all the while improving the health of our community.”

For more information about this gift and other opportunities, please contact Maggie James, signature gifts officer of The Medical Center Foundation, at 770-219-8120 or