In Brief

August 15, 2023

Ministry providers support AHA anti-violence campaign
The American Hospital Association hosted its annual Hospitals Against Violence "Have Hope Friday" to highlight how hospitals and health systems nationwide are combatting violence.

Have Hope Friday, promoted under the hashtag #HAVhope, invited health care systems and facilities to share how they are using partnerships, innovation, advocacy and creative thinking and solutions to foster a safer environment for patients, staff and community members. Among ministry organizations supporting Hospitals Against Violence in June on Twitter were CommonSpirit Health, CHA, Trinity Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

A focus of the Friday postings was health care organizations' support of the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees Act, legislation that has been proposed in Congress to provide legal protections against assault and intimidation to health care workers.

Our Lady of the Lake offers virtual cardiac rehabilitation
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is now offering cardiac rehabilitation virtually.

The services are offered through a partnership between Our Lady of the Lake's parent, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, and the telehealth company Recora. The virtual care offers heart disease patients the option to recover at home as they would at the cardiac rehab facility at Our Lady of the Lake Heart & Vascular Institute.

Francisican Missionaries of Our Lady Health System announced its partnership with Recora in February. Our Lady of the Lake is the first hospital in the health system to launch the virtual cardiac rehabilitation program.

Recora's services remove issues patients often face with transportation and scheduling while providing on-demand support from care teams, 24/7 chat and additional resources.

Volunteers Deb Marlin, at left, and Paula Land prepare food for hungry people around Cedar Rapids, Iowa, during Circle the City, a daylong service project undertaken by volunteers.

Mercy Cedar Rapids joins local Catholic partners for service project 
Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, completed its sixth annual service project with two other local Catholic organizations last month. The organizations call the one-day community service project Circle the City.

The tradition is a way for the sister ministries to mark the anniversary of the July 1875 arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids. The other partners are Mount Mercy University and the Catherine McAuley Center, a nonprofit social services organization. 

This year, volunteers from all three organizations worked together to assemble 15,000 meals for the Take Away Hunger organization. That organization distributed the meals to community members who are in crisis. 

SSM Health moves skilled nursing care from Mt. Calvary to Fond du Lac
SSM Health is moving Villa Loretto — which is the skilled nursing care facility at its eldercare campus in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin — to an SSM Health eldercare campus in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

SSM Health said in a statement that the demand for skilled nursing beds has been declining at Villa Loretto and the facility is at less than half its 50-bed capacity. The facility also has an aging physical plant. SSM Health said in the statement that after a period of rigorous discernment, "we determined it would be best to consolidate our skilled nursing operations to our nearby St. Francis Home in Fond du Lac." St. Francis Home is attached to St. Agnes Hospital.

SSM Health is helping Villa Loretto residents relocate to St. Francis Home or another location of their choice. SSM Health has invited Villa Loretto employees to transition to jobs at other SSM Health facilities. The Villa Rosa assisted living facility and the Cristo Rey Ranch petting zoo that are also on the Mt. Calvary campus remain open.

Firefighters help Jamari Isaiah Lee operate the hose on an engine during the Touch a Truck Back-to-School Supply Drive at HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. First responders from several agencies took part.

Back-to-school supply drive brings first responders to hospital campus
First responders from nearby police and fire departments took part in HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital's Touch a Truck Back-to-School Supply Drive at the hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

The hospital invited the community to its campus to get a close-up look at police cruisers, fire engines and ambulances from various agencies. The event attracted dozens of people who in turn donated back-to-school supplies for children at local schools.

Some of the first responders who came for the event visited children getting care at St. John's.

The hospital's partners on the July 27 event were the Springfield police and fire departments; the Chatham, Illinois, Fire Department; Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; and America Ambulance.

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