New Book Launch Offers Caretakers and Patients Hope and Inspiration

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States – 10-17-2022 (PR Distribution™) –

A powerful Guide to creating a healing environment for your loved one, family member, or friend.

The AARP estimates that  34.2 million people in the United States are caregivers for a senior loved one alone. Many of them spend 20 hours or more each week providing care. Joan Portman’s book— CREATIVE HEALING PLACES: STORIES OF HOPE, COMFORT, AND INSPIRATION (Authority Press, published October September 11, 2022, available on and Barnes and Noble) not only tells inspirational stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, but it also gives insights and helps to others who will, at some point find themselves either as caretakers or patients.

The book was inspired by Ms. Portman’s beloved “father-in-Love,” Harry Portman. Known as “Sabah,” Mr. Portman was diagnosed with brain cancer. During the last nine months of his life, the author worked tirelessly to provide Sabah with as much comfort and encouragement as possible. Joan Portman, an award-winning interior designer, was eventually able to share what she created for her father-in-law by starting the Healing Environments Program. The concept was incorporated into the volunteer program at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorn, PA. For nine years, over 300 volunteers from the surrounding area crafted afghans, wraps, caps, shawls, and other items for patients in the oncology, neonatal, and eventually other hospital departments. Volunteers delivered the items to patients and families to help them combat the loneliness and sterility of a clinical hospital room. 

Response to the book has been positive. Hailed as “a good read” and recommended as an essential book for medical personnel as well as the patients and families they attend, Creative Healing Places: Stories of Hope, Comfort, and Inspiration also answers many of the questions commonly asked by people dealing with being a patient or having a loved one in need of care for a severe or chronic illness. It provides practical and thoughtful ideas for preparing to visit a friend or loved one in the hospital. As Rabbi Charles S. Sherman, author of The Broken and the Whole: Discovering Joy After Heartbreak, says, “Having been profoundly challenged by “life” for over thirty years with a son, physically vulnerable and fragile, I only wish “back then” I had the companionship of “Creative Healing Places.” There is so much wisdom here; thoughtful insights, pragmatic suggestions, gentle storytelling, and a real-life lesson in transforming the culture and personality of healing institutions into communities of possibility and defiant hope. “

About the Author

Joan M. Portman is a passionate advocate for finding creative ways to improve people’s lives due to more than nine years of coordinating her Healing Environments Program. Joan applied the knowledge gained while earning her BA in Art (and Design) to initiate what became her 30-year career as an award-winning interior designer specializing in high-end residential projects. She applied her extensive knowledge of Feng Shui to enhance her singular talents. Joan thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her clients to be able to personalize their home environments to fit their unique lifestyles. Her clients inevitably became friends.

In 2007, Joan introduced her Healing Environments Program to the Director of Volunteer Services at St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA. Upon approval, she reached out to the Bucks County community. She inspired more than 300 volunteer crafters to create handmade comfort items for hospital patients (afghans, hair-loss caps, baby blankets, mastectomy, and heart pillows, to name a few). These were then offered as gifts to more than 26,000 patients by trained on-site hospital volunteers.

Please view Joan’s website:, for information about Healing Environments and the availability of CREATIVE HEALING PLACES: STORIES OF HOPE, COMFORT, AND INSPIRATION. 

Contact: Nancy McCarthy, Communications Director
The Write Advantage
[email protected]

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