St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, illustrating the Catholic health ministry's belief that healing involves neighborhoods as well as the people who live and work in them, has helped restore one of Toledo's oldest sections.
The Cherry-Bancroft-Summit area had fallen victim to the same ills that afflict older cities: shuttered businesses, abandoned buildings, increases in drug use and crime, unsafe streets.
St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a Cherry Street institution for nearly 145 years, resolved to help save the neighborhood. To that end St. Vincent and Mercy Health Partners (MHP), the system to which the medical center belongs, launched the Cherry-Bancroft-Summit Initiative, the 1999 winner of CHA's Achievement Citation. The initiative began by constructing a $25 million ambulatory care center and medical office building. MHP also converted a 100-year-old mansion into its regional offices. In addition, the initiative:
- Acquired and demolished a score of abandoned buildings
- Helped establish a police substation
- Installed playground equipment at a neighborhood school
- Bought and restored a local Protestant church, thus helping rebuild its membership
- Played a leadership role in creating the Cherry-Bancroft-Summit Corridors Coalition, an organization for area residents
- Assisted St. Vincent employees in obtaining low-cost housing in the neighborhood
- Donated the labor of more than 100 St. Vincent employees in picking up litter from area streets and painting the homes of local residents
As a result of the initiative and other efforts like it, the neighborhood has attracted new businesses and the jobs that go with them. Last year, clearly demonstrating their faith in the area's recovery, builders constructed nearly a dozen new homes.
Copyright © 1999 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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