• Renown Health Foundation
  • Donation
  • Healing Arts

Healing Garden at Renown Expands Over 14,000 Square Feet

June 18, 2020

Renown Health logo

Expansion project celebrates the 10-year anniversary of Fianna’s Healing Garden; led by daughter Rebecca Dickson and brother Harvey Fennell.

Renown Health Foundation announced today the re-opening of the newly renovated Fianna’s Healing Garden at Renown Regional Medical Center. Fianna Dickson Combs, a longtime Reno resident, business leader and master gardener, shared Renown’s belief in the healing power of natureFianna lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2008 and her family and friends carried out her wishes after she passed away, opening the original healing garden in 2009 to benefit patients and caregiversToday, the garden continues to grow – the expansion includes connected walking paths, fountain, benches and seating areas, additional sculptures and a grass area with a covered pavilion.  

Fianna’s Healing Garden is open to patients, their supporters and employees. Members of the media are invited to tour the garden on Monday, June 22 from 10 am – noon. Please bring a face mask and be prepared to receive a health screening upon entering. Donors and individuals from Renown Health Foundation will be available for interviews. Please call 775-691-7308 or email news@renown.org to RSVP by June 22 at 9:30 a.m

“For over a decade, our staff, patients and their loveones have found peace and solace in spending time in Fianna’s Healing Garden,” said Tony Slonim, MD, D.Ph., president and CEO of Renown HealthI’d like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to all who played a role in the garden’s renovation, and those who bring such beauty to our campus. I hope everyone gets a chance to experience the garden’s healing effects, and with it, the beautiful legacy Fianna and her incredible family, continues today.” 

Key Features 

The expanded healing garden now spans 28,388 square feet and includes the following new features:

  • More than 2,000 plants and trees

  • Covered pavilion on the east side of the garden offers protection from the elements and can seat up to 75 people. Featured on the back wall of the pavilion is a stunning mural of Mt. Rose. Supported by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation

  • 1,257 square feet of natural grass located in front of the pavilion, allowing garden guests a beautiful, relaxing spot to picnic. Supported by the Reno Aces

  • Traditional rose garden featuring a variety of 20 different award-winning David Austin roses. Supported by the Fennell and Dickson families

  • Weeping cherry tree dedicated to our healthcare heroes for their extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and to those in our community who lost their lives.

Combs’ legacy is sustained through the work of her family, friends and community members. Fianna’s eldest daughter Rebecca Dickson and her brother, Harvey Fennell, played an important role in the expansion and helped lead the effort to generate over $800,000 in community support. Fianna’s other brother, Thomas M. Fennell, designed the garden’s new pavilion.

Greg Walaitis, chief development officer of Renown Health Foundation said, “On behalf of Renown Health Foundation, we would like to thank Becca Dickson, Harvey and Nancy Fennell for all their hard work and leadership on this project. They knew Fianna’s vision and brought together the community support to make it a stunning reality. We thank them for their extraordinary gift of this Garden to help improve the health and wellness of patients, families and caregivers.

“It brings me great joy knowing my mother’s contribution to Renown has already made a difference in the lives of countless individuals in need of comfort and relief,” said Dickson. “The renovated garden has even more places to sit, reflect, walk, picnic, read or talk, all while embracing nature’s beauty. I can think of no better way to honor my mother’s legacy, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support of our friends and family to bring this project to life.”

Ways to Support Fianna’s Healing Garden

  • Make a gift at renown.org/give

  • Call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545

  • Mail a check to Renown Health Foundation, 1155 Mill St., O2, Reno, NV 89502

  • Venmo: @RenownFoundation

Special Thanks 

Renown Health Foundation would like to thank the following organizations and individuals, for the garden expansion would be impossible without their support:

  • E. L. Wiegand Foundation

  • Reno Aces

  • Harvey and Nancy Fennell 

  • Rebecca Dickson 

  • Thomas M. Fennell, Fennell-Purifoy Architects

  • Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation

  • Monroe/Schuler Foundation

  • Thelma and Thomas Hart Foundation

  • E.L. Cord Foundation

  • Marie Crowley Foundation

  • Jerry and Roxie Enneking

  • Dr. David and Jennifer Smith 

  • David Geddes

  • Victor Bucher

  • Cary Lurie

  • Renown Employees

  • Architect: Dale Cox Architects 

  • Landscaping: Reno Green Landscaping

  • Contractor & Builder: Clark/Sullivan Construction 

  • Sounds of Garden: Sierra Integrated Systems


“My belief is that nature is the most healing element in our environment, it brings us to a more natural and comfortable place within ourselves” - Fianna Dickson Combs


About Renown Health 

Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, Renown Children’s Hospital, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org.

Media Contact

Renown Public Relations

Email Us! news@renown.org

Related News

View All Press Releases