FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - On the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, Broward Health Medical Center will dedicate a tree to COVID-19 patients and their caregivers. The tamarind tree is a gift from the Moringa Garden Circle and Fort Lauderdale Garden Circles.
The Wild Tamarind (Lysiloma Latisiliquum) is a low-maintenance tree with white, fragrant flowers blooming from spring to fall. It’s popular with butterflies and will enhance the entrance to the hospital, which offers advanced and lifesaving care.
The "COVID-19 Memorial Tree of Life" dedication will happen at 10 a.m., Friday, April 29, on the lawn outside the main entrance of the Fort Lauderdale hospital. The Wild Tamarind will sit near another tree donated in March of 2021 in honor of those impacted by COVID-19.
"The Moringa Garden Circle, as part of The Fort Lauderdale Garden Clubs, Inc., has a 95-year history of promoting healing through planting in the City of Fort Lauderdale,” said Jennifer Berne, vice president of the Moringa Garden Circle. “Moringa Garden Circle is proud to partner with Broward Health in gratefully acknowledging our brave healthcare workers who put their lives on the line to protect the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lives of those we lost,” she said.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis will offer an Arbor Day proclamation, and remarks of gratitude will be shared by Jennifer Berne, vice president of the Moringa Garden Circle; Rose Béchard-Butman, chair of Moringa Garden Circle Memorial Tree; Heather Havericak, CEO, Broward Health Medical Center and Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital; Sunil Kumar, M.D., critical care and pulmonary physician, Broward Health Medical Center; and Kimberly Pearson, parks manager for Fort Lauderdale.
“We are fortunate to have community partners like the Moringa and the Fort Lauderdale Garden Circles that recognize the unwavering commitment of our caregivers,” said Havericak. “This tree will also be a fitting reminder for years to come of the patients who succumbed to COVID-19 and the resiliency of our nurses, physicians, team members and community.”
Broward Health, providing service for more than 80 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward Health Community Health Services, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.