September 11, 2015
In response to the announcement that Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals announce plans to transfer sole ownership of St. John Medical Center in Westlake to UH, The Plain Dealer received and published the following letter to the editor from Leo M. Spellacy of Cleveland, retired judge on the 8th District Court of Appeals. The Westlake Bay Village Observer and Villager Newspaper also published Spellacy's letter.
Sisters of Charity made courageous decision on St. John Medical Center: Letter to the Editor
The Sisters of Charity Health System recently announced a decision to allow St. John Medical Center to become part of UH as a Catholic hospital.
St. John Medical Center is a gem, and is successful today because of the foresight and commitment of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. I'm proud to have been a founding board member of this hospital. I saw firsthand how the Sisters – under leadership of Sisters Mary Patricia Barrett, Mary Ann Andrews and Judith Ann Karam – exemplified courage and respect as they brought partners together to create St. John Medical Center as a preeminent health care provider in Westlake. They are visionaries.
Transferring ownership to UH was not an easy decision. The Sisters love this hospital. Yet they recognized this opportunity for St. John to grow as a flagship hospital of UH, thus expanding Catholic health care on the West Side. I am impressed with the Sisters' strength to make this selfless decision.
I hope the community recognizes how the Sisters have, for 164 years, courageously served this community. I know many of these gifted women. Their healing mission through St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center and other ministries vibrantly continues.
Leo M. Spellacy
Spellacy is a retired judge on the 8th District Court of Appeals