Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute’s Healing Garden Named for Former Patient Revealed to Be Its Namesake 


HAMPTON, Va. — The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) hosted a grand opening to reveal its new patient garden, Emma’s Sensory Garden that was named for a former patient, Emma Lednick. The event was attended by about 100 people, including HUPTI staff, patients, former patients and other members of the community.  

“This has been in the works for a few months now and it’s been something I have thought about over the last three years,” said Tiffany Rodgers, Director of Marketing at HUPTI. “I really believe and know the importance of mindfulness, stillness and nature, and how they can be used to fuel your mind, body and soul. So, I wanted patients and staff to have an area they can go to fill their own cups.” 

Lednick is a patient of Dr. Tyvin Rich, one of the radiation oncologists at HUPTI. Her son, Shawn Lednick, is the president of Proton Systems, one of the institute’s primary vendors since its inception. He also constructed the raised plant beds featured in Emma’s Sensory Garden.  

“I began to think about a patient named Emma that has been treated here since 2012 and just got emotionally driven to turn the garden space into something, as Emma happens to be my mother,” Shawn Lednick said. “She is a part of this center and she is living today because of the hope and the care that Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute has given her.” 

Wendy Iles, a Master Gardener in Hampton Roads, also contributed her time and expertise to the garden for several weeks.  “We came together over email, initially, and then started to develop the plan,” said Iles. “It has been a joyful experience to be able to work with them, see this plan come to fruition and meet all of their goals.” 

Emma’s Sensory Garden is open to HUPTI patients and staff during business hours. 


About Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI)  

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI), established in 2010, has successfully helped fight the cancers of more than 4,000 patients from across the globe. Located in Hampton, Virginia, HUPTI is the largest standalone proton treatment center in the country, and at its inception, was the eighth such center in the United States.   

Proton therapy is universally accepted as a viable and effective method to treat many forms of cancer—one of the top killers in Virginia. It is a noninvasive option that precisely targets the tumor, sparing healthy tissue. At HUPTI, patients receive outpatient treatment in about 30 minutes, which means no hospital stays, allowing them to maintain their current lifestyle. The center treats several types of cancer, including breast, lung, prostate, head & neck, ocular, brain & spine, gastrointestinal and pediatric tumors.  

Media Contact:  

Lourdes Hernandez