The goal in opening Regina Health Center in 1993 was to ensure that aging women religious and priests in Northeast Ohio would receive the highest quality health care services, along with supportive programs that would keep them spiritually, mentally and socially engaged. Thirty years later, that goal is still being met by providing quality, mission-driven care.
The new issue of The Heart of Regina Health Center newsletter looks back on the opening of Regina Health Center, provides a recap of last year's Holy-In-One Golf Outing, a story about a 16-year employee and her lifelong connection to Regina Health Center, news updates and more.
Following is text from the newsletter cover article about the 30th anniversary. The full newsletter is available here.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. —Ecclesiastes 4:9
As Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us, “Two are better than one.” In the case of Regina Health Center, 22 are better than one. That’s the number of orders within Northeast Ohio that collaborated with the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine to expand long-term health care services for the aging religious in Northeast Ohio with the opening of Regina Health Center in 1993.
The goal in opening Regina Health Center was to ensure that aging women religious and priests in Northeast Ohio would receive the highest quality health care services, along with supportive programs that would keep them spiritually, mentally and socially engaged. Thirty years later, that goal is still being met by providing quality, mission-driven care.
“You can measure an organization on its longevity and on its merits. Regina Health Center is blessed to have exceptional residents, staff, families and donors and be able to offer outstanding medical and spiritual care just like we did 30 years ago. The collaboration of the 22 religious communities who committed to support and call Regina Health Center their home for their members who needed skilled nursing care and assisted living make this the special place it is and will continue to be,” said Mark Yantek, executive director.
Prior to Regina Health Center, the need to care for religious being discharged from hospitals was steadily increasing. Providing the appropriate skilled care was becoming beyond the capabilities of most congregations.
Recognizing this challenge, the Conference of Religious Leadership (CORL) started discussing the health care needs of religious communities. CORL, which included representatives of the congregations of religious men and women serving in the Diocese of Cleveland, commissioned a study in the late 1980s that identified the need for a collaborative effort to provide long-term health care services for the aging religious in Northeast Ohio.
Regina Health Center is part of Mt. Augustine, which is the motherhouse for the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine that opened in 1957. The Sisters raised more than $7.5 million to renovate and convert much of the facility, becoming the first collaborative health care facility of its kind in the United States when it opened in 1993.
“The need for Regina Health Center was very evident. I remember I was sitting at my desk a
one point and I got a call saying, ‘The religious congregation has members of their community to come right now.’ We weren’t even built yet," said Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader, Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine.
At the time, the idea of inter-congregational health care for religious sisters and priests that would also be available to lay persons was truly groundbreaking. “Providing faith-based medical and spiritual care for so many religious communities continues to set Regina Health Center apart. It is about quality services and forming community to care for each other. That is Regina Health Center. We’re so grateful for it,” said Sr. Judith Ann.
Regina Health Center continues to welcome new religious communities and all individuals from any faith, race or culture.
Celebrating the Anniversary
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, Regina Health Center will be hosting multiple events in 2023, including special resident activities throughout the year and a refresh of the third-floor assisted living area. The skilled nursing home was renovated for the 25th anniversary in 2018. Continuing to grow the Regina Health Center Endowment will also be a focus in 2023. Interest from the endowment sustains pastoral ministry and activities like music and art for residents and staff development, without having to use operating funds that are critical to providing resident care.
“We look forward to celebrating 30 years of excellence in 2023 and continuing to welcome sisters, priests and lay people who embrace our core values of spirituality and shared community life as we extend the healing mission of Jesus,” said Joyce Haynes, assistant administrator and human resources director at Regina Health Center.