A Message of Hope for Cleveland
By Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA
In the past century and a half, while other businesses, city leaders and sports teams have come and gone, and while the city has survived wars, depressions and recessions, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine have remained steadfast in our devotion to this great city and its people.
Our Sisters have tended the wounds of soldiers returning from the Civil War, offered spiritual healing at times of loss, comforted and educated orphans, rescued troubled mothers, given alcoholics a second chance, taught children to be the best they can be, provided a home for the homeless, and supported broken families with love and compassion.
Our Sisters are continuously called to respond to unmet needs, which is how our organization has expanded from five hospitals and one foundation to 20 diverse health and human service organizations serving Northeast Ohio and South Carolina. Today, in partnership with our co-ministers in the laity, our Sisters have exponentially expanded our mission to touch tens of thousands of lives and provide jobs to more than 8,000 individuals through the Sisters of Charity Health System.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine have brought hope and care to God’s people through Catholic health care provided at our five hospitals, a tradition started in 1865 when we opened St. Vincent Charity Hospital. Today, St. Vincent Charity Hospital continues this long legacy of service through its multiple centers of excellence and diverse spectrum of medical and surgical services.
With this history and legacy of service, we proudly announce yet another reason for hope in this community. St. Vincent Charity Hospital soon will be solely owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System. This momentous ownership decision symbolizes our commitment to renewal of and service to Cleveland.
In 2010, the Sisters of Charity Health System embarks upon a robust plan of transformation and growth for St. Vincent Charity Hospital. We look forward to sharing our plans as part of the larger redevelopment effort underway in the new Campus District.
With its strategically located position between Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College, St. Vincent Charity Hospital serves as an important part of the economic and social fabric of Cleveland. Our more than 1,300 dedicated physicians, nurses and employees work daily to bring the healing ministry of Jesus to our patients and the Greater Cleveland community. From the beginning, nothing else has defined or distracted us from this mission.
This Christmas season gives us pause to remember that the birth of Christ symbolizes transformation of our world and the quest for peace on Earth. To me, Christmas is about hope for the future and sharing love with our neighbors. The Sisters of Charity Health System and St. Vincent Charity Hospital carry forward this Christmas message of hope, compassion and renewal.
In celebration of our new beginning as sole owners of St. Vincent Charity Hospital, we invite the community to visit our beautifully illuminated St. Vincent campus this holiday season. These lights represent a symbol of our commitment to the future of Cleveland.
We started serving the needs of the community in 1865 and 145 years later we remain here in the heart of the city, living the mission to do all that we can do to meet the needs of God’s people. That is our hope—and our commitment—for the future. Merry Christmas!