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Posted: Tuesday, October 29th 2013 at 9:23am

Pope Family Garden dedicated at NGMC

By Staff
click to enlarge
Pope family at garden dedication Monday.
GAINESVILLE - Visitors at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) can now find respite in the Pope Family Garden, which was dedicated Monday.

The therapeutic space was made possible through a gift to The Medical Center Foundation by Richard and Lona Pope and their family – given to honor their family’s continued commitment to volunteerism for the benefit of patients, families and staff at NGMC, and in memory of the late Ralph and Ocie Pope.

The garden is located in the South Tower off the main lobby of the Women & Children’s Pavilion. The outdoor reprieve is available for expectant parents, siblings and family awaiting the arrival of a newborn child. In addition, it is visible to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the Infusion Center.

Since 1950, the Ralph and Ocie Pope family has had a connection to the medical community in Gainesville.

The late Ralph and “Miss Ocie,” as she was affectionately known, gave of their time, talents and resources through volunteerism. Ralph served on the Hospital Authority of Gainesville and Hall County, and Miss Ocie was the founder of the Hall School of Nursing, which later became Brenau University Nursing School. She also served as Interim Administrator of the hospital and was instrumental in founding The Medical Center Auxiliary, where their only son, Richard, continued his mother’s legacy by serving as treasurer. Today, the tradition of service continues with Richard and Lona’s commitment as lifetime members of the Auxiliary and trustees of The Medical Center Foundation.

“Miss Ocie and Mr. Ralph Pope were very service-minded,” says Jim Moore, chairman of The Medical Center Foundation. “They set a high standard, and Richard, Lona and their family are building on their legacy by the examples they are setting for their children and grandchildren through their continued support of NGMC as well as the community.”

“The Ocie Rich Pope Building on the medical center campus is named for her long-time service, leadership and practice of outstanding nursing care,” says Nancy Colston, executive director of The Medical Center Foundation. “To this day, nurses once mentored by Miss Ocie express how thankful they are for her leadership and willingness to take them under her wing. The Pope Family is a large part of the hospital’s heritage, and Northeast Georgia Health System is the great organization it is today because of those who served before us. We are grateful for Richard and Lona’s generosity to establish a wonderful therapeutic space that would not otherwise be possible. They have created a special legacy that will serve patients, their families and staff for generations to come.”

To learn more about The Pope Family Garden or The Medical Center Foundation, please call 770-219-8099 or visit

Link: The Medical Center Foundation
Link: Northeast Georgia Health System
Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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