Thankful English Florist Names Rose After Billings Clinic

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , January 21, 2010

The new healing garden at Billings (MT) Clinic may soon boast a unique perennial—a namesake rose. The future Billings Clinic rose is a gift from John Greensitt, a Billings patient, who runs Nostell Priory Rose Gardens, one of the largest rose wholesalers in England.

Greensitt splits his time between Yorkshire, England, and northwestern Wyoming, which is within Billing's expansive care area. Earlier this month, Greensitt and his wife were on a leisurely drive through the Wyoming countryside when he began experiencing chest pains. After he arrived at Billings, doctors discovered he had a clogged artery and repaired it with a stent. Greensitt was so moved by the care he received, he decided to name a rose after the clinic and donate a portion of the profits to the organization.

"This gentleman felt very grateful for the level of care he was able to get in Billings," says Jim Duncan, president of the Billings Clinic Foundation. "He made it known to the folks who were caring for him that he'd like to do something in addition to just saying thank you because he felt they saved his life. So he said, 'I raise roses and grow and sell them and I'd like to name a rose in honor of the Billings Clinic' and the Billings Clinic team that saved his life."

Greensitt, who fell in love with the American West when he and his wife vacationed at a Wyoming dude ranch 20 years ago, said he wanted to make an exceptional gesture.

"I have to do something—I have to give something back," he told The Billings Gazette. "They've done so much for me. At the end of the day, I could have been dead."

The unusual gift has sparked a dialogue in the Billings community, Duncan says.

"People who I've run into are saying, 'What a cool idea that someone would do this,' he says. "It's been a really unique honor that has been bestowed upon the clinic. Having the international presence that it has is an additional part of it that makes it more special."

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