Providence Health Care: Setting the standard
Providence Health Care officially opened in 1983 for Sisters of Providence who needed additional health care, and in 2012, the facility was opened to the public in order to receive federal funding to serve those through Medicare and Medicaid.
But the principles the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, implemented still exist, and according to CEO Mandy Lynch, are still critical more than 30 years later.
“I think the Sisters of Providence influence is very prevalent,” Lynch said. “We have our own mission, but it was derived from their core values and what they envisioned this institution would offer the public. They wanted to serve the public and that has elevated the care that we offer.”
Recently, Providence Health Care was named the Tribune-Star’s Reader’s Choice Best Nursing Home. Lynch said the facility has been nominated for other health care-related recognitions, but the staff was elated to learn the readers of the Vigo County newspaper thought this highly of them.
“I think there is a lot of excitement and a lot of validation that we, the staff, have put in a lot of hard work to care for these individuals as if they are family,” Lynch said. “I think it certainly makes the staff feel good. It boosted the morale of our group.
“This recognition makes us excited to continue providing that high quality care that we strive for.”
Providence Health Care offers many options for those in need of health care, including respiratory needs for residents; clinical high level care; music to memory care and more.
The facility, which is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Providence, also offers many unique possibilities for those seeking rehabilitation care, including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy.
“Hydrotherapy is offered thanks to an inside pool. Such therapy is less impactful on joints for the older population or someone who has experienced an injury,” Lynch said. “They might have weight restrictions and limited mobility. Being in the water during rehabilitation gives them the opportunity to loosen those joints up in a less impactful way.”
A treadmill is attached on the deck of the pool, which can be raised for anyone in need of access assistance for hydrotherapy.
At any given time, Providence Health Care can house 70 people at its location, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., 47876. Lynch said the average stay for any person at Providence Health Care is approximately three weeks, depending on the specific injury or the therapy needed.
The facility also offers a ventilator program for respiratory patients. Lynch said through the program, people can be weaned from a ventilator if needed or physicians can help patients get stronger so they can live their best life even with the ventilator. The program is the only one of its kind in the Wabash Valley, Lynch said.
“Because of that, we attract people from all over the state,” she said.
Providence Health Care also offers Memory Care for patients, a growing need as families in all communities deal with aging parents, grandparents and other family members. All staff working with those residents are certified dementia practitioners.
“This is an extra level of education our direct care staffers complete,” she said. “They receive credentials to show how to best care for individuals with cognitive decline. We know that our population, as they age have cognitive changes.”
But Lynch said that the spiritual care – thanks to the many Sisters of Providence who volunteer at the facility and four who minister there full-time – could be one of the most important needs Providence Health Care offers.
“Every person is cared for individually and holistically to what best suits their needs,” she said. “We are so close to the sisters and spiritual well-being is critical. The presence that the sisters have within the organization is so unique to what we offer.
“It has always been the sisters’ mission to serve those in need, and quality care is what you are doing to get when you are here. Health challenges can provide a difficult time for anyone, no matter what ailment they are experiencing. Here the compassionate presence, the natural setting and spiritual well-being are important to what we are and how we serve.”
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.