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O ur Mission ...

Catholic Health East is a community of persons committed to being a transforming, healing presence within the communities we serve.

To effect this mission: • We treat all persons whom we serve and with whom we work with respect and compassion, calling forth their best human potential; • We provide a full range of services that support healthy communities, including quality medical care and holistic approaches to healing body, spirit and mind; • We collaborate with others who share a common mission and vision;

O ur Vision ...

• We continually seek ways to assure access to services to persons most in need; • We identify and develop leaders in Catholic health ministry; and • We advocate public policies and initiatives, particularly those in the area of healthcare, that ensure quality of life for all.

Inspired by our Mission and committed to our Core Values, Catholic Health East will achieve excellence in all we do, creating a system that empowers communities and individuals to achieve optimal health and quality of life.

O ur Core Values ... Reverence For Each Person

We believe that each person is a manifestation of the sacredness of human life.

Community We demonstrate our connectedness to each other through inclusive and compassionate relationships.

Justice We advocate for a society in which all can realize their full potential and achieve the common good.

Commitment To Those Who Are Poor We give priority to those whom society ignores.

Stewardship We care for and strengthen the ministry and all resources entrusted to us.

Courage We dare to take the risks our faith demands of us.

Integrity We keep our word and are faithful to who we say we are.


Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Message from...

S ponsors Council

Coordinator, Board Chair and CEO Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Sr. Barbara Wheeley, R.S.M. Coordinator, CHE Sponsors Council

Every year since 2006, Catholic Health East’s annual report has taken the form of a collection of vignettes, each sharing the story of an individual or family who has benefitted from the unique community benefit programs and services offered by our local ministries. Over the years, this report has showcased hundreds of people whose lives have been changed by a social worker … a nurse … a physician … an outreach worker … a therapist … a spiritual care colleague ... and other caring, committed professionals who staff our institutions, clinics, community health screenings, and school-based programs. Reaching far beyond the walls of our facilities, Catholic Health East colleagues truly make a difference in the lives of so many. In 2012 alone, CHE entities provided over $368 million in community benefit programs and services. You’ll meet some of the recipients in the pages that follow. Like Cathleen, who lacked insurance and suffered from a life-threatening blood pressure disorder. And Angelica, whose substance abuse and domestic violence problems threatened her very existence. And Ted, the 90-year old widower whose chronic debilitating health issues threatened the independent lifestyle

Dennis A. Fitzpatrick Chairperson, CHE Board of Directors

he cherished. These people represent the thousands upon thousands of individuals—many who are poor and otherwise underserved—whose lives have been enriched through our community benefit programs and services. Our ability to impact the lives of those who need us the most has grown. In October 2012, CHE announced that it was coming together with Trinity Health, another large Catholic health system, to form a new, unified, national Catholic health ministry. By the time you read this report, CHE and Trinity Health will have become a single, unified health system. With 82 hospitals, 89 continuing care facilities and over 87,000 employees in 21 states from coast-to-coast, our combined ministry’s mission, commitment to providing exceptional care, and unified voice will enhance our combined ability to meet the needs of people like Cathleen, Angelica, Ted and thousands of others like them who deserve our attention, our care, and our respect.

Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A. President and CEO, Catholic Health East

care access for those who are poor and underserved, serve as a daily inspiration to everyone throughout Catholic Health East. And it is their legacy that lives on in the passionate and talented caregivers, support personnel, leaders, volunteers and benefactors who comprise our ministry, touching lives in a special way every day. Our world continues to change. Technology that we didn’t even dream about a generation ago helps us to save more lives, and helps keep more people out of hospitals and continuing care facilities and in their own homes. Electronic health records and other advances are helping us to make care safer by avoiding medication errors and improving quality. New pharmaceuticals offer the promise of improved relief from pain and chronic diseases.

But one thing that will never change is … the human touch. In an era of fantastic technological advances and improvements in our ability to keep people well, fight diseases and fix As we journey down this new path in broken bodies, we are most proud of the history of Catholic health care in our caregivers and support staff whose the United States, we look back with dedication, love and compassion—day pride, with thanks, and with awe at in and day out—bring hope to those the people most responsible for who are hopeless, and healing to bringing us to this point: our founding those whose health and spirits need congregations. These Sisters, who mending. We are transforming care … devoted their lives to improving health one life, one family, one community at a time.

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Commitment to Those Who Are Poor

Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania

eeding the FBody, Mind and Soul

John is among dozens of people who line up on weekdays just before 3 p.m., at King’s Kitchen—a local soup kitchen located in the auditorium of the Holmesburg United Methodist Church in Northeast Philadelphia—where a hot meal and helping of camaraderie are always on the menu.


t least once a month, Lisa Curry, R.N., community outreach manager at Nazareth Hospital, part of Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, sets up a table and takes advantage of the hospitable environment to provide free blood pressure screenings and health information to residents of this underserved community, many of whom are homeless or considered low-income. John, 68, a King’s Kitchen attendee for 10 years, initially didn’t participate in the free screenings. During one team visit in 2012, he approached the staff. Gradually, as he became more comfortable with them, he began to open up. He told them about his chronic high blood pressure, which once caused atrial fibrillation so severe he fainted. The episode had landed John in the hospital for three weeks in 2010 and led to his having a coronary stent procedure to

Lisa Curry, R.N., community outreach manager at Nazareth Hospital, takes John’s blood pressure as they discuss his recent doctor’s visit.

keep the arteries in his heart open. It was then that his eyes opened to the realization that his health needed to be taken more seriously. John turned to his physician; but he needed help staying on track and understanding his test results. Enter the Nazareth Hospital Community Outreach team, who not only provides him with regular blood pressure readings, but also practical health care advice on the importance of continuing his medications, and the benefits of weight loss, exercise and dietary changes. Lisa has also encouraged John to have regular cholesterol checkups and is available to explain the results. “We have established a trusting environment where he can ask us about any health concerns,” said Curry. The trust and the familiar setting of King’s Kitchen have encouraged others to come forward for health screenings and education as well.

“I tell them, ‘It’s for your own good. You’re not going to the hospital or doctor’,” said John. “A lot of people found they have high blood pressure and didn’t know it.” For more than two years, Nazareth Hospital colleagues have donated non-perishable goods and personal care items to King’s Kitchen. Realizing it’s a place to reach people who need care, they started the health checks in October 2012 and since then have provided over 100 screenings. In the future, Nazareth Hospital plans to send additional team members to provide discussions and education on health topics of interest. “Our goal is to improve access and provide disease prevention information and services to decrease disparities among the poor and vulnerable,” said Curry.

“Our goal is to improve access and provide disease prevention information and services to decrease disparities among the poor and vulnerable.” —Lisa Curry, R.N. 4

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Saint Francis Healthcare

Commitment to Those Who Are Poor


Outreach on the Road “If it wasn’t for the Saint Clare Van, I wouldn’t be here to tell you my story,” said Cathleen.


athleen was in Saint Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del., when she first learned about the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Aminata Conteh, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner with the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van, performs an examination of Cathleen. Van. Suffering from a blood pressure problem that was life-threatening, she was without insurance and without a plan of care. She made an appointment Cathleen. “They care about me. They We suggested she monitor her blood with the Van upon her release from the look out for me. They call me at home pressure at home; and her children hospital. and check on my progress. They take bought her a monitor,” said Conteh. action when my medical condition calls “Cathleen has done an excellent job of As a full-service doctor’s office on wheels, for it.” learning to manage her disease.” the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van travels the streets of Wilmington The Van staff includes Oswaldo Nicastro, Eventually, Cathleen was hospitalized delivering medical care to people who M.D., medical director; Aminata Conteh, again for her blood pressure. This time are homeless, poor and uninsured. Over FNP-BC, nurse practitioner; Edith Rivera, the medications were evaluated and a the years, more than 80,000 patient R.N., practice manager; and Vilma new medicine was prescribed. Today, her visits have been conducted from the Van. Lopez, medical assistant. Together, they appointments with the Van have offer a collaborative approach and team become quarterly rather than weekly. Cathleen worked with the medical staff spirit to address patient needs. of the Saint Clare Medical Outreach Van “I have been able to get back to many of on a weekly basis to get her blood A component of the care for Cathleen the things I enjoy in life, thanks to Vilma, pressure under control. While the was teaching her about blood pressure Edith, Ami and Dr. Nicastro. There are no progress wasn’t steady, the care was issues and the steps she could take to words to describe the good work that always compassionate and gave her a control the condition through healthy these caregivers do,” Cathleen said. “I sense of dignity. eating choices and exercise. Conteh said trust them implicitly and know that they that Cathleen was eager to improve her care for me. I am blessed by their “The people of Saint Clare Van are more health. presence in my life and thank Saint than just a medical stop for me,” said Francis for this ministry to serve those in “We encouraged her to stop smoking. need.”

“I trust them implicitly and know that they care for me. I am blessed by their presence in my life and thank Saint Francis for this ministry to serve those in need.” —Cathleen

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Commitment to Those Who Are Poor

St. Francis Medical Center

ore Than MJust Health Care

Glenn was referred to the comprehensive care team at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, N.J., after a visit to the hospital’s clinic. At the time, Glenn was living in a condemned house; his living environment was creating health problems and he had no medical insurance.


n obese man, Glenn had a bed that was too small for him and a larger bed would not fit into his living area. In addition, he needed a CPAP machine to sleep and his was not working. He also needed assistance getting around; but a wheelchair was not possible in his current home. Debbie Farmer, R.N., and Peg Nucero, R.N., DNP, work in the comprehensive care office at St. Francis. When Glenn was referred to comprehensive care, they began by developing a relationship with him. Since he had no insurance, Farmer instructed Glenn on what he needed to do in order to obtain Medicare. The hospital provided medical transport and a bariatric wheelchair so that Glenn could go to social services and provide the documentation required for insurance.

From left: Debbie Farmer, Glenn and Peg Nucero catch up after a follow-up appointment at St. Francis Medical Center.

Once Glenn had his insurance to help cover the costs, it was time to help manage some of the problems that he had been experiencing. Farmer coordinated with the respiratory therapy department to have his CPAP machine fixed so that he could rest easier. But, he still needed a bigger bed and that meant he needed a bigger living space. So, Nucero began making calls to find Glenn a new place to live. They found Glenn an apartment nearby and ordered him a new bed. In addition, they ordered him an electric scooter so that he could get around. Now, when he comes into the hospital, you can see Glenn zipping around and smiling on his scooter. “Once Glenn moved into his new apartment, he was like a different person,” said Nucero. “He seems so much happier; his living conditions are much better and it has really made a difference.”

Farmer was also able to arrange multiple services for Glenn including a home health aide to visit him a few days per week. The aide has been able to help Glenn quite a bit. The St. Francis comprehensive care program helps people who otherwise might not have access to health care. The program focuses on patients in the community with chronic illnesses. Not only do they treat the physical ailments, but they also address the social, economic and psychological facets as well—treating the whole person. The comprehensive care nursing staff goes above and beyond to help patients like Glenn every day—including giving out their cell phone numbers so that they can be available 24/7. “Deb and Peg have been very helpful,” said Glenn. “They did things for me that I couldn’t do myself. They helped me track things down, put me in touch with the right people and helped straighten things out.”

“Deb and Peg have been very helpful. They did things for me that I couldn’t do myself. They helped me track things down, put me in touch with the right people and helped straighten things out.” —Glenn 6

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Lourdes Health System

ind-BodyMSpirit Connection Promotes Healing

Bill is always on the go, whether running three or four miles every morning or managing his wholesale battery business. But when a seemingly routine case of diverticulitis led to the discovery of prostate cancer, his life headed down an uncertain road.


ill was scheduled for a robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. While at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, N.J., for preoperative testing, admissions staff suggested he take advantage of Lourdes’ Prepare for Surgery Program, offered free to all surgical patients. Bill said the guidance provided during the two-hour class made all the difference. “I was really nervous about the whole thing. Coleen made it a lot better. When you schedule an operation and have time to wait, sometimes you think of the worst-case scenario,” said Bill, 59, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “She put us in the know, which made it so much easier.” Started by wholistic health nurse Coleen Naylor, R.N., B.A., HN-C, eight years

Bill presents Lourdes wholistic health nurse Coleen Naylor with the Guardian Angel Award in appreciation of the care she provided preparing him for prostate cancer surgery.

ago, Lourdes’ Prepare for Surgery Program offers concrete suggestions and relaxation tips to help patients overcome anxiety that may compromise the body’s natural ability to heal. Positive visualizations, healing affirmations and the power of a supportive group are key elements of the program. Patients using these techniques before and after surgery generally experience reduced pain, increased comfort, shorter hospital stays and an easier recovery process. A three-year study performed at Lourdes found that prostatectomy patients who participated in the Prepare for Surgery Program had shorter hospital stays, lower costs and significantly higher satisfaction compared to those who had not. About 400 patients a year take the class, which is now offered at both Lourdes Health System hospitals. “Knowledge is comfort,” said Naylor. “When you know what to expect, it’s comforting.”

Class participants receive two relaxation CDs to listen to before their surgery and during recovery, healing and worry stones and inspirational messages. Naylor visits patients after their procedure and calls once they return home. “The class teaches you how to prepare yourself mentally, how to prepare your home, what to have in your room,” said Bill. “You don’t want anything reminding you of stress and work. You want to have peace. I thought that was a great idea.” “Bill was an empowered patient. He used all of the tools he learned,” added Naylor. “But the program is not just for the hospital. It provides concepts that you can use the rest of your life.” Three weeks after surgery, Bill was running again. Within three months, he ran a 5-kilometer race for breast cancer awareness. “I was slow,” he said, “but I didn’t stop.”

“Knowledge is comfort. When you know what to expect, it’s comforting.” —Coleen Naylor, R.N., B.A., HN-C Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012



Sisters of Providence Health System

rostate PScreening

for Health and Friendship Staying healthy is very important to 71-year-old Brian, a retired merchandising trainer who follows a vitamin regimen and makes time to work out at least five times a week.


eing active has been the key to my good health,” said Brian. “But I also realize that as you get older, you have to be even more proactive, particularly in the area of prostate health.” For the past 26 years, Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., part of Sisters of Providence Health System, has set aside one full day to offer free prostate screening examinations. Each year, about 125 men take advantage of the free exams performed by physicians from a local urology practice. Brian attended the first screening and has returned every year, often seeing the same familiar faces.

Joanne LaBrecque, M.A., Mercy Medical Center, with Brian, who attends the hospital’s annual prostate screening.

“I read about the screening in the newspaper and decided to come in for it,” he said. “And after all of this time, it’s become an annual social event and the folks at Mercy always make us feel right at home.” Mercy Medical Center’s Joanne LaBrecque, M.A., agreed. “We have ‘alumni’ who come to our prostate screening examinations year after year,” she said. “They come into the office, fill out the registration forms, and settle in to wait with the friends they often haven’t seen since last year. The men even tell us they look forward to the annual screening because they have established relationships with each other over the years and they’re comfortable talking about their common health concerns.”

During their appointments, the men receive a blood test to check their prostate-specific antigen or PSA level, see a physician for an examination, and receive prostate health education materials. Three to four weeks after the prostate screening, the men receive a letter with the results of their PSA blood test and information about contacting the physician they met with earlier. “The educational information we receive is a large part of the program and it’s valuable because men are often hesitant about asking for any kind of help,” Brian said. “But as you get older, it’s even more important to listen to your body and put your fears aside about going to the doctor.”

“Being active has been the key to my good health. But I also realize that as you get older, you have to be even more proactive, particularly in the area of prostate health.” —Brian


Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


St. Mary’s Health Care System

reating C Hope for

a Healthier Life Like so many Americans, Sandra wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, but was having trouble Sandra is using exercise and information learned through St. Mary’s Hope 4 Health program to succeeding. lose weight and improve her health.


would exercise, but not change my eating habits, or I would change my eating habits, but not exercise,” said Sandra, a family engagement specialist at Gaines Elementary School in Athens, Ga. Then, a co-worker told her about a pilot program that St. Mary’s Health Care System was holding in partnership with the First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church of Athens called Hope 4 Health. The free, 10-week program combined exercise with information about diabetes, stroke, heart health and weight management, plus free equipment such as pedometers and dumbbells, and healthy meals catered by St. Mary’s food and nutrition department. Sandra jumped in and learned the importance of combining healthy eating with exercise. Putting the two together has helped her lose 12 pounds so far. She also learned potentially life-saving health information that she is relaying to family and friends.

“This is so important,” she said. “I’m sharing the knowledge to try to help others. I’d love to have something like this for our parents here at the school.” The program grew out of St. Mary’s 2010 Community Health Needs Assessment, which found that in urban Athens-Clarke County, 28 percent of adults are obese, 23 percent are uninsured, 20 percent have limited access to healthy food, and 19 percent get no physical activity in their leisure time. Led by St. Mary’s mission services, multiple departments came together and partnered with Athens First AME to address these underlying health issues in the community. The church provided space and helped recruit people to the program. St. Mary’s provided funding, instructors, health screenings, incentives and healthy meals.

“The response was outstanding,” said Sr. Patricia Loome, S.N.D.deN., St. Mary’s vice president, mission services. “Our participants loved it and nearly all of them showed significant improvement in one or more risk factors.” The program consisted of 10 evening meetings that took place right after an exercise class at the church. On average, 25 people came each week, and most continued with the entire program. All were adult men and women who live in the area, ranging in age from 32 to 92, and all 23 who completed a satisfaction survey rated the program as excellent. “Hope 4 Health was very successful,” Sr. Pat said. “We reached our target population, increased participant knowledge, and achieved nearly all the program goals. Now we’re building on what we learned in the pilot so we can make Hope 4 Health bigger and better in the future.”

“I’m sharing the knowledge to try to help others. I’d love to have something like this for our parents here at the school.” —Sandra

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012



Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

ne Man’s OJourney to Wellness

Lou, 48, hails from Brookline, a quiet Pittsburgh community of 14,000, known for its bluecollar roots and strong work ethic. Exercise and hard work aren’t new to Lou. Years ago, he ran the 400-meter relay, wrestled, boxed and played baseball for his high school.


ike many, Lou put on a few pounds since high school. The shy, 5-foot-8-inch man’s weight peaked at 260 pounds. His Body Mass Index measured 39.5, well above what is considered healthy. The combination of depression, a sedentary lifestyle and affection for late-night sodas compounded the issue, placing Lou at high risk for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic health problems. To improve the health of the individuals it serves, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System (PMHS) implemented the Individual Self-Health Action Plan for Empowerment (In SHAPE) program in several personal care homes in 2012. In SHAPE uses a wholistic, person-centered, team-based approach to combat premature mortality in people with serious mental illness. The program promotes the integration of physical, mental and behavioral health through physical fitness, nutrition, tobacco cessation and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s wellness initiatives, like the In SHAPE program, help Lou and others lead healthy, active lives in the community. Photo by Micaela Young. Copyright © 2013 Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

Lou was already physically active. When PMHS invited him and fellow residents at Garden View Manor, a 56-bed personal care home, to participate in the structured In SHAPE program, he said, “I’ll give it a try.” Lou works out one hour a day, two days a week. He walks or jogs on the treadmill, lifts free weights and rides the stationary bike at two local gyms. Other days, it’s not unusual to see Lou walking six miles in his community. He likens exercise to starting a race, one that’s every bit mental as physical. “Exercise gives me a goal, something to work toward,” Lou said. He knows that by taking care of his body, he’s also taking care of his emotional health. “It helps to clear my head and gives me confidence,” he added. In addition to losing 20 pounds and feeling more comfortable in his jeans, “I feel proud of myself,” Lou remarked.

“I really like it when my family says, ‘Lou, you look good!’” “He attends weekly outings to the YMCA, and he exercises on his own,” noted In SHAPE health mentor Matt Proskin. “Lou has found the motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. He’s an example of the success you can have when you commit to wellness.” Lou now socializes more and he motivates others. Lou encouraged residents and staff to participate in the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Walk and other community walks. Next, Lou said, he’d like to complete Pittsburgh’s Great Race, a popular 5K/10K. He’s currently looking for a sponsor. In the meantime, Lou eagerly shares his philosophy on wellness: “Stay away from soda. Drink lots of water. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Make time to exercise.”

“Exercise gives me a goal, something to work toward. It helps to clear my head and gives me confidence. I feel proud of myself.” —Lou 10

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


St. Mary Medical Center

Pofortrait Success Mary is a “regular” at St. Mary Medical Center’s Family Resource Center Wellness Program in Bensalem, Pa. She arrives every day, enjoys socializing with the other clients, and takes advantage of all the Darlene Holloman, nutrition education advisor for Penn State Extension, presents Mary with a wellness programs offered at the certificate for completion of their Nutrition Links workshops. Center. She has a certificate of achievement from Penn State heart better, but I used to have pain in exercise program has helped Mary’s Extension—St. Mary’s partner in my knees and legs, and now I don’t feel quality of life,” said Dr. Shah. “We have providing nutrition education— any pain. I’m so much better since I’ve encouraged her to continue with the to prove it! been exercising and coming to the Wellness Center as it is helping her


hen Mary was diagnosed in 2009 with coronary artery disease and aortic stenosis, she underwent an aortic valve replacement at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pa. An important part of her recovery was to exercise. Mary joined the Family Resource Center Wellness Program, located at the Wellness Center, close to her home and free of charge as part of St. Mary’s community benefit services. “All I needed was a doctor’s note,” Mary said. “I haven’t missed a day since I started in June 2010. Not only is my

Wellness Center.”

overall well-being.”

Mary, who is 78 years young, attended the Penn State Nutrition Links program at the Wellness Center, and received a certificate of achievement upon completing the workshops.

“I love going to the Wellness Center every day,” Mary added. “The staff is knowledgeable and dedicated, and the other clients are always so pleasant to be with.”

“The nutritional education was wonderful. I learned a lot about eating healthy,” Mary said.

Sharon Reeder, manager of both the Family Resource Center and Wellness Center, is very proud of Mary’s accomplishments.

Her cardiologist, Rakesh Shah, M.D., agreed that the Wellness Center has made a difference in Mary’s health. “Her cholesterol has been under great control and she feels wonderful. This

“Every day at opening you will find Mary with a smile and a hello waiting to gain entrance to our Wellness Center,” she said. “It’s a joy to be with her.”

“I haven’t missed a day since I started. Not only is my heart better, but I used to have pain in my knees and legs, and now I don’t feel any pain. I’m so much better since I’ve been exercising and coming to the Wellness Center.” —Mary

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


The Mercy Community


ope, HHelp and Heroes

The Mercy Community, nestled in the tree-lined suburb of West Hartford, and Mercy Housing and Shelter in inner-city Hartford, Conn., share something in common—the Sisters of Mercy as their founders and sponsors.


he Mercy Community’s skilled nursing facility, Saint Mary Home, has provided homes for up to 16 individuals transitioning from homelessness—nearly all from Mercy Housing and Shelter—since 2004. Maybe it’s a common affinity for the elderly poor that inspires their collaboration. Whatever the reason, Angelica considers the pairing a personal blessing. Mercy Housing and Shelter has been her saving grace. “I was in a relationship that turned violent. I was afraid to be out on the streets. I was being stalked. I was depressed and got into drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t getting better,” said Angelica. “I have three beautiful daughters, and that’s what made me see I needed help. I couldn’t stay … something was going to happen to one of my girls, or I would be found dead on the streets. I had to get myself together.”

Angelica left a very volatile situation behind when she entered Mercy Housing and Shelter’s St. Elizabeth House. Now she has been sober for more than a year and looking forward to reuniting with her daughters.

As a first step, Angelica went to Hartford’s Hispanic Health Council. They referred her to Mercy Housing and Shelter—an agency that Angelica had never heard of despite its proximity to her neighborhood. “This place is so close,” Angelica said. “But it was so far from where I was then.” She placed her girls—ages 8, 12 and 15—with family, and then Angelica left everything she knew and walked into the shelter’s St. Elizabeth House. The first thing she remembers is that she was warmly welcomed and handed a bag containing soap, a toothbrush and other personal care items provided in part by The Mercy Community’s annual Mercy Giving Tree collection. Each Advent, visitors, residents and colleagues of The Mercy Community fill baskets with toiletries and warm winter clothing to be given to people in need.

“Do you know the smiles we give when they hand us those bags?” Angelica asked. “We come with nothing.” Next, Angelica began to notice the special meals that The Mercy Community’s dining and dietary team delivered to St. Elizabeth House three times each month—sometimes with cooking demonstrations. “I have never ever had food that delicious,” she admitted. Angelica has been sober for more than a year now, and she will soon be reunited with her daughters in a new home. She said that she is “very grateful” to both Mercy Housing and Shelter and The Mercy Community. “I would tell any woman in the same place I was a year ago that there is hope and there is help and there are heroes,” she said. “She just has to reach out for them.”

“I would tell any woman in the same place I was a year ago that there is hope and there is help and there are heroes. She just has to reach out for them.” —Angelica 12

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Global Health Ministry


urgical STeam

Scores Big With Young Patient

Brian with Paulette Shank, CRNA (second from the left; seated), and other members of the GHM surgery team, after a successful operation to repair his severely scarred legs.

“I want to run. I want to play soccer with my friends,” said Brian, a 12-year-old Peruvian boy.


e was talking to his surgical team, including Paulette Shank, CRNA, from St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pa.—a long-time member of the Global Health Ministry (GHM) surgical team that has traveled to Chulucanas, Peru each year since 1989. When Brian was young, an oil burning lamp—used by many of the poor to light their homes at night—accidentally toppled over and the hot oil scalded Brian’s legs. Brian’s legs were badly burned and when healed, they developed severe contractures. The scars were so tight that he could not stand straight and walking was very slow and careful. What saddened Brian the most was that he could not run. With hope abounding, he told his caregivers that he wanted to play soccer.

Shank, Brian’s anesthesia provider, who is also a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, understood the boy’s passion.

Health Ministry could witness these ‘small miracles’ that they help produce on each GHM mission.”

“As a mother who has had the joy of watching her own children grow up enjoying sports and outdoor activities, I understood his hopes to be able to run and play with his friends,” said Shank.

GHM partners with local health care providers and performs hundreds of operations each year. Some types of procedures include: cataract extraction, gall bladder removal, adult and pediatric hernia repair, cleft lip and palate repair, various gynecological procedures, podiatric surgery and scar revision and grafting. GHM provides these services to the poorest of the poor who have very little access to health care and even less access to surgical care.

After several hours of surgery and grafting, the GHM surgery team released the contractures, fully extended Brian’s legs and on post-op day three, handed him a new soccer ball! After a few more months of strengthening and healing, Brian will be able to kick his new ball around the local soccer field. Shank and the rest of the team are truly grateful for the opportunity to use their skills to change lives. “Every year, the Global Health Ministry medical and surgical teams are privileged to help restore numerous children and adults back to active, productive lives,” Shank said. “We only wish the many supporters of Global

Next year, GHM celebrates the 25th anniversary of its commitment to the people of Chulucanas, Peru, providing medical care and health education to them as well as to those in need in Esquipulas, Guatemala; Gros Morne, Haiti; and Kingston, Jamaica. A volunteer experience with GHM teaches one to listen to his/her servant heart and transform into a lifetime giver.

“I want to run. I want to play soccer with my friends.” —Brian

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Mercy Health System of Maine


cAuley MResidence Helps Women Flourish

Two days before Christmas, Maddie presented to the Mercy Recovery Center in Portland, Maine, pregnant, homeless and addicted to opiates. The staff and volunteers in detox including Mark Publicker, M.D., a maternal addiction expert, warmly embraced her and engaged her in ongoing substance abuse treatment.


addie had no money to secure housing, food or medications, so staff at the Recovery Center referred her to McAuley Residence, a department of Mercy Health System of Maine. McAuley Residence is a two-year, strengths-based program that provides comprehensive services, case management and safe and supportive housing for women with children, who are battling addiction. Four weeks after she moved into McAuley, she gave birth to a beautiful

From the left: Maddie and Tyler; Melissa Skahan, executive director, McAuley Residence; and Mercy board members, Sr. Patricia Flynn, R.S.M., and Sr. Kathleen Smith, R.S.M.

8-pound baby boy and is now navigating the waters of new motherhood in a caring, sober environment. “Maddie is very committed to her son and her sobriety,” said Melissa Skahan, executive director of McAuley Residence. “At McAuley Residence, she has the opportunity to develop her plan for long-term success, which includes education, employment and financial literacy. Her hard work is paying off and she and her son are thriving.” As a department of Mercy, McAuley Residence affords families like Maddie’s access to primary care, nutrition counseling and substance abuse treatment. Through partnerships, McAuley also provides access to individualized parenting coaches, mental health services and a financial mentor to ensure that any previous credit or debt concerns are addressed.

Maddie attends the weekly Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, yoga and Mindfulness meetings in the house, as well as Wednesday group meetings, which include a home-cooked community meal prepared by women of McAuley. “Without McAuley, I honestly don’t know where or how my son and I would be,” said Maddie. “When I got to McAuley, I was lost, confused and hopeless. My dreams are now real and actually possible. My mind is clear and my life is back on track.” At McAuley, Maddie has reconnected with her God-given strengths to build the skills necessary to flourish and provide for her young son. For 25 years, McAuley Residence has served vulnerable women with great outcomes and decidedly, Maddie and her baby are now blessed with a very bright future.

“Without McAuley, I honestly don’t know where or how my son and I would be. My dreams are now real and actually possible. My mind is clear and my life is back on track.” —Maddie 14

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Mercy Medical

ew LIFE NEssential In February 2012, Joe, 62, enrolled in Mercy LIFE— Alabama’s first PACE program. PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) was the answer to his prayers and, according to his primary caregiver and younger sister Sophia, is a program they can’t live without.


efore enrolling, Joe, a one-time seaman who traveled the world, was struggling to find comfort and quality in living. In 2011, Joe was first diagnosed with tongue cancer and began chemo and radiation treatments. He was already disabled from another illness, but the cancer caused him to lose his ability to eat, breathe, talk and be comfortable. After radiation treatment, Joe experienced necrosis of his tongue from scar tissue buildup. He had difficulty swallowing, couldn’t move his mouth and quickly started losing weight. A feeding tube was surgically placed into his stomach. As Joe’s health declined, Sophia couldn’t continue caring for him alone. She had difficulty getting him back and forth to treatments so the Mobile County Health Department referred them to Mercy LIFE, a program of Mercy Medical of Daphne, Ala.

Joe plays dominoes at Mercy LIFE, Alabama’s first PACE program. PACE is a community-based model in which care is integrated by day center-based interdisciplinary teams.

“It was like God has sent guardian angels to help us,” explained Sophia. “Mercy LIFE angels watch over Joe and do anything and everything to help us.” Joe attends the PACE program five days a week. “Mercy LIFE is home,” said Joe. He meets his friends for some serious dominoes-playing, exercise or for a parade or other events. But it’s not all fun and games, as Joe is examined carefully by his physician, Eugene Lammers, M.D., Mercy LIFE medical director, and other specialists including a hyperbaric oxygen treatment specialist, optometrists and speech pathologists. “I would be lost without Mercy LIFE,” said Sophia. “They pick Joe up and take him to his appointments. They provide all his medications and supplies.” Mercy LIFE provides or coordinates all the medical and nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutritional services and social work support needed by its participants. The

staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “When Joe’s throat swelled and he was unable to sleep, Mercy LIFE got us a hospital bed to keep his head elevated and reduce his swelling,” Sophia added. “They gave him a walker, shower chair, supplies, medicines and helped simplify our lives. They sent us a private duty nurse after his tracheotomy to watch him around the clock. Now that we have Mercy LIFE, I don’t see how we could live without it. I know it is all from God; but we couldn’t have made it without them.” At Mercy LIFE Joe is a favorite among staff members, some of whom call him ‘Uncle Joe’. “He’s so inspirational with a wonderful spirit and strong faith,” recalled Sheila Powell, Joe’s enrollment specialist. “When first enrolling Joe, he told me, ‘This is a minor setback for a major comeback’. Little did I know he was absolutely right.”

“It was like God has sent guardian angels to help us. Mercy LIFE angels watch over Joe and do anything and everything to help us.” —Sophia Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Holy Cross Hospital


ALifeNew with

Hope and Answers When 39-year-old Lorraine was diagnosed with HIV in prison, she thought her life was over. A victim of a brutal rape, she had escaped into a life that included drugs, alcohol and poor decisions.


ccording to Lorraine, there was no one to talk to—or who really cared— about her HIV status in prison. She received minimal medical care during her one-year prison stay and no medications to prevent the disease from replicating in her body. Upon her release Lorraine knew one thing: that she needed to change people, places and things. She couldn’t continue on that same path. So she took a bus to Fort Lauderdale and made her way to one of Broward County’s homeless shelters that serves women and children. Lorraine’s life, as she described it, “was a mess.” She was unsure of herself, if she could ever be loved again, and had many outstanding questions. At the shelter, she attended many classes, one of which was a women’s health class taught by Holy Cross

Lorraine (left) and Keesha Effs, Holy Cross Community Outreach HIV coordinator, spent many hours discussing HIV and AIDS, asking and answering questions, and navigating the local health care system.

Community Outreach HIV coordinator, Keesha Effs. After class, Lorraine approached Effs and shared information about her previous HIV diagnosis. The results have been life changing. Lorraine and Effs have spent many hours discussing HIV and AIDS, asking and answering questions, and navigating the local health care system. “I finally started to feel like a normal person again and had hope,” said Lorraine. “When I was diagnosed with HIV, I thought my life was over. Keesha helped me realize that it has only just begun. Without her, I’m not sure what I would have done.” Now, Lorraine sees her physician every three months. Her viral load is undetectable and her T-cell counts are good. In addition to seeing her doctor regularly, Lorraine said that “eating healthy, exercising and proper rest are key

elements to maintaining a healthy T-cell count. “ But barriers and prejudices still exist where HIV is concerned. When Lorraine applied for employment at a local body shop, she was open and honest and shared her HIV diagnosis with the shop’s owner. He was concerned for his employees that having her work in the office (answering phones, filing, invoicing) might pose a risk. Lorraine asked Effs to assist her in educating and assuring the business owner that she did not pose any risk to his employees. Effs continues to work with Lorraine (and her boss) and provides ongoing support, encouragement and resources. Today, Lorraine is the manager of that body repair shop. She is clean and sober, living in her own apartment and feeling good.

“When I was diagnosed with HIV, I thought my life was over. Keesha helped me realize that it has only just begun.” —Lorraine 16

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Saint Joseph’s Health System

Miracle Ain the Making

Wanda knows a thing or two about commitment. Having experienced the full spectrum of emotions—from anger and pain to love and gratitude—she is Wanda credits the staff at Saint Joseph’s Mercy Clinic at City of Refuge for inspiring her to live determined to heal both her better. “They all really have changed my life immensely,” said Wanda. body and mind.


anda, a resilient woman in her 50s, first came to Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services in Atlanta, Ga., depressed, anxious and living in transitional housing after having served over 20 years in prison. “Prison gave me a way of thinking that was not so good,” Wanda admitted. Upon her release, she encountered Macedonia Vickerson, a resource specialist at a day shelter clinic, and was referred for treatment at Mercy Clinic at City of Refuge. Once in a supportive environment, Wanda began to see the world differently. The combination of kindness and integrated care enabled Wanda to find her voice and make a commitment to improve. Wanda received primary care, behavioral health care and health education at the full-service clinic for her

chronic conditions, having been diagnosed with high blood pressure, glaucoma, acid reflux, diabetes and hypertension. “My condition out of prison was a mess with all my bad habits,” recounted Wanda. “Safiah Vafaeian, my nurse practitioner, is helping me to get better. She is a caring person and we talk real well—one on one. She makes sure I take all my meds. It feels good to know you have someone there for you.” Her commitment to bettering herselfspiritually, mentally and physically—is apparent in Wanda’s enthusiasm. “Commitment means more than just saying it—it means doing it and holding up your part of the plan,” she said. “In group, they helped me to write a letter. I wrote to my family and asked for forgiveness. This meant a lot to me.” Cathryn Marchman, behavioral health

coordinator, guided Wanda along the way. “Oh wow, she is my partner. She cares … that lady really cares. We have a bond of love,” said Wanda of Cathryn. “In group I learned that I didn’t have to hurt people and be bound up by jail. Now instead of picking up a weapon, I pray.” At 54, Wanda is setting goals to be happy. “I have a choice now, and I think I’m going to get my GED and get on with my life,” she said. “Mercy Care changed me a lot. I walk to church now. I love birds. I feel so free.” Since 1985, Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services has been providing primary medical and dental care and supportive services to the metro Atlanta community with a special emphasis on the poor and underserved. Mercy Care Services is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Saint Joseph’s Health System.

“I have a choice now, and I think I’m going to get my GED and get on with my life. Mercy Care changed me a lot. I walk to church now. I love birds. I feel so free.” —Wanda

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012



St. Peter’s Health Partners

iving GPatients the Tools for Living a Healthier Life

Dennis immediately puts visitors at ease with his infectious laugh and beaming smile. His affability and charm make it easy to see how the white-bearded 52-year-old would make a popular Santa Claus, a role he often volunteers to take on during the holidays.


ut his face becomes serious when talk turns to recent health issues that landed him in the emergency department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, N.Y. He is quick to inform that the Eddy Visiting Nurse Association’s (VNA) Care Transitions Coach Program has been a blessing on his road to recovery. “Now it is under control,” he said, discussing his struggle with diabetes. Before the program, he admits he dealt with the disease by ignoring it. “I was lying to myself. I was lying to others. This program saved my life,” he added. The Coach Program provides patients

Amy Potter, R.N., B.S., and Dennis review his medical log containing his improved daily blood sugar readings.

diagnosed with high-risk diseases, such as diabetes, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with the necessary skills, tools and support to care for themselves once they leave the hospital. Patients are screened for the program while they are still in one of four hospitals in the Albany-based St. Peter’s Health Partners system—Albany Memorial, Samaritan, St. Mary’s, and St. Peter’s. Priority is given to those patients who are socioeconomically challenged or on medical disability. The screening is just the first step, explained Amy Potter, R.N., B.S., a transition coach with Eddy VNA, which is part of St. Peter’s Health Partners. Once a patient who is eligible is identified, the coach explains the benefits of the voluntary program and then enrolls the patient prior to discharge. The coach visits the patient in the hospital daily until discharge, identifying barriers and preparing the patient for the return home. Once home, the patient can expect a scheduled visit from the coach within 24 to 72 hours.

“The coach sits with the patient, provides medication reconciliation, and assists him or her in scheduling follow-up appointments with a primary care physician and specialists,” Potter said. “Most importantly, we provide education and the tools needed to manage the illness, which are critical to successful self-management.” Tools include medication boxes, low sodium cookbooks and recording logs for patients to track their weight, blood pressure and blood sugar. A coach follows up with the patient with a weekly phone call for 30 days, at which time the intervention is complete. Now in its fourth year, the Coach Program has served more than 1,780 patients throughout New York’s capital region. Reviewing Dennis’ recording log filled with his improved blood sugar readings, Potter is obviously pleased and offers her encouragement. “I don’t plan on falling back into bad habits,” said Dennis with a smile.

“I was lying to myself. I was lying to others. This program saved my life.” —Dennis 18

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Reverence for Each Person

BayCare Health System

Paroviding Better Quality of Life

Ted is a born musician. An entire bedroom of his home has been converted into a music studio demonstrates for Faith Community Nurse Cathy Giesey how his optical reader reads the where he burns his own CDs. His Ted newspaper to him. studio walls are graced with caricatures he drew of famous individuals he met during his requested a home visit. She met an acceptable to the client. A Faith emaciated, diabetic gentleman who Community Nurse enhances the health music career—Perry Como, prided himself on being independent ministry team by providing the profesJohnny Mathis, Sammy Kaye, and didn’t want to bother anyone. Since sional services and expertise of a Mickey Rooney and Buddy Rich, that initial meeting, Giesey has made registered nurse through one-on-one to name a few. more than 30 documented visits, not counseling, education and advocacy.


e also is a 90-year-old widower with acute and chronic debilitating health issues requiring frequent doctor appointments and hospitalizations. He is deaf, blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. His three children live far away. If it weren’t for the compassion and care of a BayCare Faith Community Nurse, Ted would not be able to live the independent life he cherishes.

only assisting him with his health issues but also becoming an advocate and friend.

“Every once in a while, you meet a patient who changes your practice,” Giesey said. “My role has provided an eclectic kaleidoscope of memories. The privilege is unlike any of my prior administrative or academic nursing positions. It’s a gift as diverse as each of the individuals I serve.”

BayCare Faith Community Nurses perform services such as blood pressure screenings, serving as camp nurses for school trips, coordinating health fairs and flu clinics, sponsoring blood mobiles, arranging CPR training and more.

Giesey helped Ted obtain hearing aids, an optical machine that reads books for him and allows him to complete crossword puzzles, and has even worked with the Veterans Administration to obtain services.

Cathy Giesey, R.N., B.S.N., M.S.N., a Faith Community Nurse with BayCare Health System’s St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., met Ted in 2010 when he

Focusing on the care of the spirit, a Faith Community Nurse blends the client’s faith and well-being with the science of medicine to create a quality of life that is

“Cathy has been a big help,” said Ted. “I’d be lost without her.” BayCare Health System began its support of Faith Community Nursing at St. Anthony’s Hospital in 1991. In 2012, BayCare’s 275 Faith Community Nurses made 43,425 client contacts. In total, they have provided the equivalent of $1,378,208 of services to the Tampa Bay community. Ted, a poetry lover, draws upon a lyric from a Frank Sinatra song* to describe what the Faith Community Nursing Program, and especially Cathy Giesey, means to him: “You are the angel glow that lights a star. The dearest things that I know are what you are.” * Lyrics from “All the Things You Are” written by Oscar Hammerstein II.

“Cathy has been a big help. I’d be lost without her.” —Ted Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


Saint Michael’s Medical Center

Reverence for Each Person

edicated DPhysician

Goes the Extra Mile In September 2012, Altagracia received abnormal results from her Pap test, which revealed a diagnosis of stage 3 adenocarcinoma. Her primary care physician told her she was very ill and recommended she see gynecologist Norma Rae, M.D., at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, N.J.


pon her first visit, Dr. Rae knew that Altagracia needed care right away, and wanted to schedule her to receive a total hysterectomy as the first step in trying to treat her cancer. Frightened, Altagracia didn’t know how she was going to manage getting to the hospital for the various tests, surgeries, and treatments. However, it became very clear from the beginning that she would not have to do it alone. Dr. Rae gave Altagracia her phone number to make sure that she wouldn’t give up.

Altagracia with Norma Rae, M.D., at Saint Michael’s Medical Center

“When I told her that she needed surgery, she told me she didn’t have bus money to get back here,” recalled Dr. Rae. Unwilling to take ‘no’ for an answer, Dr. Rae insisted she come back the following week, and gave Altagracia a bus ticket to do so. “It was by the acting glory of God that I was given Dr. Rae’s name,” said Altagracia. During this time, Altagracia was living with her son in a small bedroom. At first, she had insurance coverage through him, but when he lost his job, she lost her insurance. “When I was first told I had no insurance, I felt there was nothing I could do,” said Altagracia. However, the team at Saint Michael’s was not ready to give up hope. “I was

told that the hospital had some program to help me get my cancer treatments,” she said. The team at Saint Michael’s worked tirelessly to keep her treatment plan on track. Each time she comes to the hospital, she is greeted warmly by the hospital staff. “They hold my hands, and make me feel good about being here,” said Altagracia. “I feel like I am with family when I come [to Saint Michael’s].” Dedicated to Altagracia, Dr. Rae and the rest of the Saint Michael’s team stay in close contact with her to make sure she can get to the hospital, and receives the care she needs regardless of her insurance status. She continues her treatment at Saint Michael’s Medical Center and remains a positive influence and a testimony to others struggling with cancer.

“They hold my hands, and make me feel good about being here. I feel like I am with family when I come [to Saint Michael’s].” —Altagracia


Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Reverence for Each Person

St. James Mercy Hospital

ngels Are A Looking Over Me

Nobody plans to get cancer. Yet, in 2011, Sally, an uninsured, 63-year-old waitress, found herself facing breast cancer.


ally had been a long-time client of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program (CSP). Administered by St. James Mercy Hospital of Hornell, N.Y., CSP provides uninsured and underinsured men and women with free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings. In 2011, Sally’s routine mammogram looked suspicious and a biopsy was ordered. “A few days later the doctor called me at work as I was getting off duty, and said he had bad news,” Sally said. “It was cancer.” Sally couldn’t afford an MRI or surgery. “Without insurance, we were at a halt,” she said. Fortunately one of Sally’s friends reminded her that as an enrollee of the Cancer Services Program, they may be able to provide assistance. CSP staff helped expedite the Medicaid application, which ultimately covered her MRI and double mastectomy.

Sally is delighted to be back at the restaurant serving her customers, including the staff from Cancer Services Program.

“I got through the surgery and went home, thinking I had a clean bill of health,” she said. But tests revealed that cancer was in her lymph nodes, so chemo was prescribed. “I was a basket case when they said I needed chemo,” Sally added. Again, her saving grace was CSP, especially one employee who had been through a similar experience. “I could go in anytime and talk to her,” Sally said. “And thank God she prepared me for what to expect.” CSP also helped get her a wig and provided gas cards to offset the 140-mile round-trip required for each of her chemo treatments. Work is a source of pride and independence for Sally, and she was anxious to get back to the restaurant. “I started working when I was eight and was brought up that you pay your own

way,” she said. “But it was such a blessing that CSP got me the help I needed.” Sally returned to her beloved customers who welcomed her with open arms. “You never prepare yourself for a diagnosis like this ... it can happen to anyone,” Sally said. Her advice is to get screened. “I tell people that you have to go no matter what, and you have to do it every year. And if someone can’t because they don’t have health insurance, I say go to CSP,” she said. Now Sally is fully back. “I’m not ready to retire. I’ve thought about what CSP does and maybe I could spread the word and do something to help people. If CSP wasn’t here I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. “But I got through it with their help ... angels are truly looking over me.”

“I’ve thought about what CSP does and maybe I could spread the word and do something to help people. If CSP wasn’t here I don’t know what I would have done. But I got through it with their help ... angels are truly looking over me.” —Sally Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012



Allegany Franciscan Ministries

oaves and LFishes: Refugees Helping Refugees

Since 1998, Allegany Franciscan Ministries in Palm Harbor, Fla., has been helping to improve the overall health of individuals by increasing access to health services and information. Over the years, Allegany Franciscan Ministries has invested over $65 million in more than 1,500 organizations serving those most in need in its targeted communities.


ah-Ku and his family escaped their native Burma in December 2010 under the specter of injustice and political persecution, coming to Tampa, Florida as political refugees. Like many new refugees Lah-Ku, his wife Pler Paw and their children were disoriented and frightened, and had few resources. Through an interpreter, Lah-Ku explained: “I was having a hard time taking care of my family because I couldn’t speak English. I couldn’t find a job. My family was afraid and hungry.” As he searched for help, Lah-Ku met Father Bekele, an Ethiopian refugee and the head of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and Pastor Joseph, who leads a Baptist congregation with a significant refugee population. Both men have worked with refugees for many years.

Thanks to funding for the Tampa Bay Gardens from Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Father Bekele created a farm for Burmese refugees in Tampa.

Together, through a grant from Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Father Bekele and Pastor Joseph created the Tampa Bay Gardens—a community garden where Burmese refugees can cultivate their own vegetables and herbs, offering a safe place for the refugee families to come and connect with one another and their culture. Father Bekele’s congregation, Ethiopian refugees with very little of their own, reached out to help the Burmese refugees who had even less. Lah-Ku became the project manager for the Tampa Bay Gardens. He now has a home on the property and plants traditional Burmese herbs. He also grows tomatoes, lemon grass, okra, cucumber, squash and watermelon. The garden has not only allowed Lah-Ku to grow traditional Burmese fruits and vegetables but it has helped strength his ties to his family. There are over 20 refugees who work and cultivate the garden now. His wife feels safe on the farm and Lah-Ku is teaching his children about their heritage through the food they grow. Lah-Ku finally feels hopeful for his family’s future.

The garden provides native produce for the refugees and gives them the ability to sell their products to local restaurants and at farmers’ markets. The Burmese refugees, who were once struggling to find a home, have now built a new community around the garden. The garden has also given them the ability to share their culture with those who have reached out to help them. With two Tau grants from Allegany Franciscan Ministries, the Tampa Bay Gardens has prospered, adding goats for milk, chickens for eggs, and even a fishery. Tau grants are provided to support services that assist persons who are marginalized, economically poor, or have limited access to health care and health information. In addition to awarding grants, Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ staff and volunteers work collaboratively with nonprofit community partners and other funders to promote physical, mental, spiritual, societal and cultural health and well-being in the communities it serves.

“I was having a hard time taking care of my family because I couldn’t speak English. I couldn’t find a job. My family was afraid and hungry.” —Lah-Ku 22

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

Catholic Health


roviding PSafe Sleep for Babies

Providing a safe sleep environment for their newborns is one of the most important things parents can do to prevent sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). Unfortunately, many parents lack the knowledge and/or resources to ensure that their babies are protected from these often preventable tragedies.


hen little Bradan arrived two month’s early at Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, weighing less than four pounds, his mom Melissa didn’t have anything ready. Unsure how she was going to afford a new crib so soon, Melissa was relieved when she learned about a special program that provides free cribs to area families.

In 2010, Catholic Health Home Care Services teamed up with the National Cribs for Kids® Infant Safe Sleep Initiative to provide educational materials and free cribs to families in need. In addition to the portable crib, parents receive fitted crib sheets and a blanket sleeper to replace loose blankets. Home care nurse Susan Provorse visited Melissa’s home to set up the crib and provide information on safe sleep practices. For Melissa, who suffers from cerebral palsy, the portable crib was the perfect size to make her little preemie feel safe,

Melissa and her sons—Bradan, three–and-a-half months, and big brother Matthew, age five— get a visit from Peggy Furlong, R.N., of Catholic Health Home Care Services.

and the adjustable height made it easier for her to get Bradan in and out of the crib. “Because he arrived so early, we wanted to make sure he had the safest place to sleep when we brought him home,” she said. “I don’t know what we would have done without this program. We are so grateful to Susan and everyone at Catholic Health.” Peggy Furlong, R.N., maternal child nurse liaison, spearheads the Cribs for Kids program. She knows all too often, even with new guidelines to place infants on their backs to sleep, thousands of accidental infant deaths occur each year because parents unknowingly put their infants at risk by

having them sleep on couches, chairs or in adult beds. She works closely with nurses, social workers and therapists to help identify families who can benefit from the program. Catholic Health Home Care Services supports the Cribs For Kids program through fundraising and individual donations. Since its inception, the program has provided free cribs and other safe sleep materials to more than 70 families. Many of the families are Burmese refugees who have come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Now, Melissa and all these parents can sleep a little easier knowing they are able to provide a safe place for their babies to sleep.

“I don’t know what we would have done without this program. We are so grateful to Susan and everyone at Catholic Health.” —Melissa Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012



St. Joseph of the Pines

Btheridging Gap Homelessness is a pervasive social crisis, affecting individuals as well as working families with children. And Moore County in North Carolina is no exception. In fact, the average age of a homeless person in Moore County is age nine.


Always willing to help the “Bridging the Gap” program, Clarence, Edna and Angel (l to r) pose in front of The Family Promise Day Center in Aberdeen, where counselors and case managers assist adults and pre-school children play.

n May 2012, St. Joseph of the Pines, Southern Pines, N.C., joined forces with Family Promise of Moore County—which provides shelter and meals to homeless families—on a pilot project called Bridging the Gap.

“We began our homeless initiative with a public awareness campaign,” said Anita Holt, SJP president and CEO. “Now we have moved on to mitigation and prevention. It is our way of sustaining our efforts.”

The goal of Bridging the Gap is simple: to prevent families from slipping into homelessness and to greatly reduce the time homeless families stay in a shelter. To be eligible, families must be referred by a human services agency, and pass a screening process to receive program funds.

In seven months, the program assisted 31 families, allowing them to remain in their homes or to be re-housed. Here are two of their stories:

Donated funds are used to pay back rent and/or utility bills once an eviction notice has been received, or to quickly re-house and stabilize families who become homeless. A key component of the program is that a case manager meets regularly with each family for a period of no less than three months to ensure that rent and utilities are being paid and permanent housing can be independently maintained.

Angel had been holding down three part-time jobs and attending college full time in hopes of getting a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She is a young mom with two children—one of whom has special needs. She had been staying with a family member when she was asked to leave due to overcrowding. Angel came to Family Promise as a last resort. She had worked so hard to save up for a security deposit and first month’s rent for an apartment in a safe neighborhood, but was short by $200. She was afraid the rental agent would give the apartment to someone else and she and her children would be homeless.

Bridging the Gap provided Angel with $200, plus the services of a case manager who is helping her manage her money so that she and her family can remain in their new home. “I found someone to believe in me and to continue to cheer me on,” said Angel. “My family has been in our new home for three months now.” Clarence and Edna were burned out of their rental home and lost everything. The only income Clarence, 62, and his wife have is his social security disability. Despite good budgeting skills, with the small amount of income they received each month, the fire was more than they could handle. They needed help with a security deposit and pro-rated rent on a new apartment. Through Bridging the Gap, they received the assistance they needed. “We are proud people and have always taken care of our own needs,” said Clarence. “But sometimes things happen that are beyond your control.”

“I found someone to believe in me and to continue to cheer me on.” —Angel 24

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

2012 C atholic

Health East Overview & Statistics


Cost of Care for the Poor

$ 115,885,726


Community Benefit Programs

$ 101,349,203


Unpaid Costs of Medicaid Programs

$ 151,137,478



$ 368,372,407


Community 2012 Benefit Cost Mix

Unpaid Costs of Medicaid Programs $151,137,478

Cost of Care for the Poor includes the cost of charity care granted in the provision of care for uninsured patients who qualify for free care, uninsured patients who qualify for discounts and low-income underinsured patients who qualify for discounted or forgiven charges for amounts that are the patient’s responsibility.

Community Benefit Programs $101,349,203



Cost of Community Benefit Programs includes community health education such as classes, support groups, and self-help programs; community-based clinical services such as screenings, one-time or

Cost of Care for the Poor $115,885,726


occasional clinics, free clinics and mobile clinics; health care support services; cash, grants and in-kind goods and services donated without compensation; and volunteer service hours of health system employees. Unpaid Costs of Medicaid Programs includes shortfalls related to Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), public and/or indigent care (medical programs for low-income or medically indigent patients) and local and state government programs that reimburse health care providers for persons not eligible for Medicaid.

CHE’s 2012 community benefit information has been calculated and presented in accordance with the Catholic Health Association’s A Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefits.

Overview of Key Catholic Health East Services* Number of Facilities 36

Staffed Beds 7,281

Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals



Long-Term Care (Hospital-Based & Freestanding Facilities)



Assisted Living Facilities



Continuing Care Retirement Communities



Residential Living



Senior Low-Income Housing



PACE Programs (Enrollees)



Rehabilitation Facilities



Psychiatric and Addiction Recovery Facilities



Inpatient Hospice



Home Health/Hospice Agencies


1,687,470 visits

Acute Care Hospitals

*As of December 2012

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012


O ur Health Ministry ... Catholic Health East Sponsors Franciscan Sisters of Allegany Allegany, New York Hope Ministries Newtown Square, Pennsylvania Sisters of Providence Holyoke, Massachusetts Sisters of St. Joseph St. Augustine, Florida Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: Mid-Atlantic Community Merion, Pennsylvania New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community Buffalo, New York Northeast Community Cumberland, Rhode Island South Central Community Belmont, North Carolina

Catholic Health East Supportive Health Corporations Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Inc. Global Health Ministry Stella Maris Insurance Company, Ltd.


Catholic Health East Regional Health Corporations and Joint Operating Agreements BayCare Health System Clearwater, Florida

Saint Joseph’s Health System Atlanta, Georgia

Catholic Health Buffalo, New York

Saint Michael’s Medical Center Newark, New Jersey

Holy Cross Hospital Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Sisters of Providence Health System Springfield, Massachusetts

Lourdes Health System Camden, New Jersey Mercy Health System of Maine Portland, Maine Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

St. Francis Medical Center Trenton, New Jersey St. James Mercy Hospital Hornell, New York St. Joseph of the Pines Southern Pines, North Carolina

Mercy Medical Daphne, Alabama

St. Mary Medical Center Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Mercy Health System Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

St. Mary’s Health Care System Athens, Georgia

Saint Francis Healthcare Wilmington, Delaware

St. Peter’s Health Partners Albany, New York The Mercy Community West Hartford, Connecticut

Catholic Health East Community Benefit Annual Report 2012

2012 Community Benefit Annual Report.  

Catholic Health East's 2012 Community Benefit Annual Report.

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