WVHC COO, Sister Lawrence Ann Liston, to retire
During the course of the past seven months, Wabash Valley Health Center, Inc., a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, has undergone several changes.
And according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charlie Welker, those changes will be ongoing for a little while longer.
But one big difference patients who utilize the facility, located at 1436 Locust St., Terre Haute, will notice in the coming months is that Sister Lawrence Ann Liston will no longer be working there.
Recently, Sister Lawrence Ann announced she will be retiring from her position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). She had served as CEO until the center hired Welker in January.
Her final day at the health center will be Thursday, Sept. 25, as she has agreed to stay on to train the person who is replacing her.
Sister Lawrence Ann has been involved with the center since 2007. However, recently, she said she felt like it was time to step away.
“When we became a Federally Qualified Health Center in November 2013, I decided that I had taken it to a level where it was time for someone with more energy to take over,” Sister Lawrence said. “After 45 years (in various ministries), it’s time for a little pause.”
Welker said the center was aware of Sister Lawrence Ann’s decision and recently hired Brooke Lockhart to serve as COO.
Before coming to the center, Lockhart served as Practice Manager for Union Hospital’s Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health.
“I’ve known Brooke through my time at Union Hospital,” Welker said. “She comes in with a really good reputation, experience in working with writing grants, and understanding the need for securing additional funding. We feel very fortunate to have her, and we should be able to make a very smooth transition.”
Welker said the staff at the center will miss seeing Sister Lawrence Ann on a regular basis.
“There is a void,” he said. “She was a workaholic. She’s always here. I will remember her passion for our mission. She fully believes and is so committed to our mission of service. We will continue to ensure her legacy and carry it on in the mission.
“Sister Lawrence Ann took over the clinic during a time when it was a free people’s clinic model. She found a way to sustain the viability of the place. Seven-plus years in this type of setting is a long time, but her leadership has helped the center survive. “
Sister Lawrence Ann, a native of Terre Haute, graduated from Terre Haute Schulte High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She also received a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University.
She spent several years teaching at the elementary level before becoming Director of Schools for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1984, where she directed 72 schools in 39 counties in some capacity until 1995.
After serving as Interim General Secretary for the Sisters of Providence General Council for one year, she earned certification in Comprehensive Health Facilities Administration, and then began her ministry in health care.
She spent time at a handful of health care facilities in Indianapolis before landing on her feet at St. Ann Clinic in Terre Haute.
Now, Sister Lawrence Ann has plans on “rejuvenating,” before getting back into ministry.
“I plan to rest, take more time for prayer,” she said.
Sister Lawrence Ann added she will miss serving the patients who utilize the center.
“I will miss the people and the opportunity to share with people in need,” she said, “to be of service to folks.”
With Sister Lawrence Ann’s retirement, Sister Beth Wright remains the only full-time Sister of Providence working at the clinic, although several sisters volunteer.
“We are and will continue to be a ministry of the Sisters of Providence,” Welker said. “We value that partnership, their wisdom and insight.”
He added Sister Lawrence Ann’s departure is not the only change the center will go through in the coming months.
Welker said the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the agency where the center received its federal grant, stipulates all centers which become Federally Qualified have to be “fully operational” within two years, meaning the local facility will need to be in compliance by January 2016, something Welker said will happen.
“We’re going like gangbusters,” he said. “(HRSA) is monitoring our progress on a regular basis. But there will be a whole flurry of activity happening.”
Welker said HRSA will conduct its first onsite visit of the clinic in the spring of 2015.
He added the next “big” step for the center will be to implement the billing phase, something he said will occur Oct. 2. He said the center secured UAP Clinic, based in Terre Haute, to handle its billing.
Welker said from there, the center will secure more staff members, work on its emergency management plan, and develop policies and procedures, among other items.
Current hours of operation for the Wabash Valley Health Center are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 812-232-7447.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.