What is Planetree?

The healthcare design buzz is out … and it’s about Planetree. Who is Planetree? What is Planetree? And why is Planetree important?

Who: Planetree is an organization and partnership of healthcare facilities that deliver and share a belief in “Patient-Centered Care.” Planetree describes their mission as “a non-profit organization that provides education and information in a collaborative community of healthcare organizations, facilitating efforts to create patient centered care in healing environments.” This international network of healthcare organizations includes a diversity of hospitals, senior living communities, and VA medical centers and outpatient facilities that all willingly choose to embrace and embody the Planetree model of care.

Recently, architectural and design firms have been added to the Planetree network, providing a critical component of the healing environment —patient-centered design.

Planetree understands the holistic healing process and prescribes each of us with a critical role in creating and supporting health in their model of care. With the spread of their belief and adoption of their philosophies, we enter into an exciting era in modern healthcare, where care is preventative, holistic, and patient-centered as a benefit to caregivers, patients and families alike.

To learn more about Planetree visit their website.

What: The Planetree symbolizes a Sycamore Tree. It is said to be the tree under which Hippocrates taught his medical students the art and science of healing. Hippocrates was able to remove people from the mysticism and cult-theory of illness, and progress us into a balanced lifestyle of healing of the body, mind and spirit.


The early Hippocratic Hospitals were Asclapian sanctuaries set in beautiful locations, usually perched high in the hills overlooking the Aegean Sea, allowing patrons to bathe in fresh air and sunshine. Hippocrates’s holistic treatments integrated these soothing environments with physician’s protocol; he combined theater, music, exercise, good nutrition and a spiritual tribute to the gods, all of which supported his belief that the “the greatest force in healing is found within.” Planetree has brought back these healing principals, described in their core tenets of care.

Why: The evolution of modern western medicine has physicians more acutely focused on the physical body, often leaving the environmental, emotional and spiritual aspects of healing and well-being to the wayside. Fortunately, the Planetree model of care is established to refocus our perspective, embracing a healing model for a balanced healthcare culture and lifestyle. Though the skills and conventions of modern clinical care are paramount and recognized as a key element of healing, Planetree has incorporated their core components to supplement traditional medicine. The 10 core components of Acute-Care are as follows:

  • Human Interaction
  • Family, Friends and Social Support
  • Access to Information
  • Healing Environments
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Spirituality
  • Human Touch
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Healthy Communities