New Donor-Funded Outdoor Destination Under Construction at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2018

As the summer’s mid-morning sun was rising above Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton, Chris and Jane B. Smoot were joined by hospital officials as they broke ground on The Courtyard Waterfall – a new outdoor destination made possible through the couple’s recent signature gift to The Medical Center Foundation.

“We wanted to make a meaningful contribution to our community and touch a lot of lives, but we didn’t know exactly how or what to do. The Medical Center Foundation offered us the perfect opportunity when they shared their dream of a Courtyard Waterfall – which could only be made possible by a donation,” said Jane Smoot. “Chris and I put a lot of thought into it, and we decided on a waterfall that would replicate nature from the north Georgia mountains where I grew up. It’s our hope that this natural setting will provide a place for patients’ families, providers, staff and the rest of the community to find replenishment and solace in this busy world.”

“We are extremely grateful for the Smoot’s generosity,” said Chris Bray, president & chief development officer of The Medical Center Foundation. “They are very excited about the project and have genuinly given from their hearts. Their gift is a wonderful example of how philanthropy helps NGMC use therapeutic gardens as a complement to traditional medicine in the healing process.”

The Courtyard Waterfall is being constructed adjacent to the hospital’s outdoor dining plaza and will create the look and feel of the naturally serene setting of the north Georgia mountains. A basin and fountain will be visible to the west as you approach the front door of the hospital. The water will then cascade downward from the fountain into runnels that further move the water over large boulders and stones, across the hillside, and into basins at the foot of the plaza. The gift includes a maintenance endowment, and the waterfall will operate using reclaimed water. 

“The plaza allows patients, their families and staff to step outdoors into nature in a very peaceful setting,” said Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton. “Through the Smoot’s giving spirit, The Courtyard Waterfall is going to create a whole new experience and level of healing in the plaza through the sight and sounds of moving water. It’s going to be beautiful and I think it will be another wonderful element of NGMC Brasleton that builds community and brings people together.”

“We are grateful for Chris and Jane’s willingness to support the inaugural fundraising campaign for our new hospital,” said Tony Funari, volunteer chair of the Braselton Campaign Cabinet. “They have helped lead the way to assure healthcare excellence for the residents of our area. ‘Jane B.’, or ‘JB’ as most of us know her, has been engaged with the health system through volunteer service and board leadership for many years. She’s a wonderful ambassador and has helped educate and connect people to the hospital since NGMC Braselton opened three years ago. She and Chris are creating a very special legacy that benefits others and furthers the hospital’s goal to be a destination of hope, healing and wellness.”

To learn more about The Courtyard Waterfall or The Medical Center Foundation, please call 770-219-8099 or visit 



Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is a non-profit on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. Our team cares for more than 1 million people across the region through three hospitals and a variety of outpatient locations. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has three hospital campuses – NGMC Gainesville, NGMC Braselton and NGMC Barrow – with a total of 713 beds and more than 800 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. Learn more at