a new feature gracing Northeast Georgia Medical
Center’s (NGMC) North Patient Tower entrance.
Center Foundation held the reception dedication of
the Wilheit-Keys Peace Garden Monday, June 6, on the
hospital’s Gainesville campus.
gathered to celebrate the completion of the new
garden, made possible by a lead signature gift and
maintenance endowment by Philip and Mary Hart
Wilheit, Sr. and their family, Jeff and Hart Payne
and Philip and Addie Wilheit, Jr.
The garden is named in memory of Philip and Mary
Hart’s parents, Tom and Jane Eve Wilheit and Jack
and Mildred Keys, who were known for their love of
beautiful gardens and landscapes
The Wilheit-Keys Peace Garden is the largest of five
donor gardens planned for the NGMC campus and can be
enjoyed from indoors or out as it spans 20,000
square feet across the North Patient Tower’s main
concourse, connecting North Entrance 3 to the Dawn
McKibbon Memorial Chapel. The garden includes a
rainwater collection system and is an easily
accessible destination for patients, families,
visitors and staff seeking comfort and solace.
was designed as a special outdoor retreat, where the
sights, sounds and smells of the flowers, trees and
water features can be enjoyed from the meandering
path or one of the convenient seating areas.
Wilheit, who is known for her unique metal artistry,
has sculpted several pieces on display throughout
the garden, weaving art with nature.
“It was peace that Jane Eve and Tom Wilheit and
Mildred and Jack Keys found in their respective
gardens,” remarked Woody Stewart, chairman of The
Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, during
the dedication reception. “Separated by states but
joined by the marriage of their children, they found
common ground in their love of nature.
that the seeds of today are the flowers of tomorrow.
those seeds in their gardens, and also in their
children and grandchildren, who recognize the
valuable role a garden plays in healing.
the generosity of Philip and Mary Hart and their
entire family, this Wilheit-Keys Peace Garden is
indeed a place where those seeking peace may visit
for years to come.
This garden would not be possible without
“Today’s dedication is special,” added Carol
Burrell, Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS)
interim CEO and executive vice president/COO.
special because of the beautiful addition the
Wilheit-Keys Peace Garden brings to our community
and because we are honoring the parents,
grandparents and great-grandparents of a family that
has played such a key role in this organization - -
- a family that has not only been generous through
their donations to our Medical Center Foundation,
but also through the contribution of thousands of
hours in volunteer time to assure the continued
success of this health system.”
The Wilheits have been longtime supporters of NGHS.
Philip Wilheit, Sr. served on the NGHS Board
from 1986 – 2007, serving as its chair beginning in
1993; he continues to serve on the Board as chair
Mary Hart Wilheit is a life member of The
Medical Center Auxiliary and past chair of the
Auxiliary’s annual fundraiser, Marketplace.
The Wilheits made a signature gift in 2004,
along with the late Wilbur and Dixie Ramsey, to name
the John A. Ferguson, Jr. Conference Room in honor
of Ferguson’s 40 years of service as President and
CEO of NGHS.
For more information about the Wilheit-Keys Peace
Garden or other donor garden gift opportunities,
please contact The Medical Center Foundation at