Cardinal Dolan dedicates model health center for seniors

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) hugs Amanda Garcia (right), a student at St. John Chrysostom School in the Bronx, for a present she gave him. Garcia also participated as an alter server said by Cardinal Dolan on Thursday, February 23, at San Vincente de Paul Catholic Health Care Center on Intervale Avenue.
Photo by Kirsten Sanchez

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan made his first appearance since his return from the Vatican in Rome on Saturday, February 18, at a commemorative Mass and dedication ceremony held at St. Vincente de Paul to celebrate a major expansion of its health care ministry by the Archdiocese of New York.

On Friday, February 23, the Archdiocese announced it plans for expansion to serve 50 percent more seniors and people with disabilities in their homes and in new community-based care centers throughout the New York area by the end of 2014.

The announcement was made at the opening of the new ArchCare Senior Life Program, an all-inclusive care for the elderly at San Vincente de Paul Catholic Health Care Center on Intervale Avenue.

Cardinal Dolan held Mass in the facility’s chapel, after which he participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with executive director for ArchCare Senior Life Henriette Kole to dedicate the new center.

The expansion is part of the on-going transformation of ArchCare, an Archdiocese health care system, to respond to changing consumer attitudes toward nursing homes, expand its outreach, and to better align its services in accordance with recent changes in the federal and state health policy that encourage greater use of home and community-based alternatives for care.

The center includes both medical services for seniors as well as adult day care, home and health services, and other features that seniors would be able to receive from a nursing home, but which allows them to stay in the community.

The center’s new model for how seniors will be cared for will serve 250 residents age 55 or older, many with multiple health problems. The plan calls for ArchCare to construct six more ArchCare senior life centers over the next three years.

Along with ArchCare Senior Life, these plans fulfill the requirement being phased in starting in April that Medicaid recipients in New York State age 21 and older who need more than 120 days of home or community-based long term care services be enrolled in an approved managed long term care plan.

“Seniors and others who have chronic health needs should not have to give up their homes and independence just to get the medical care and other attention they need to live safely and comfortably,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The expansion of our health care ministry will equip us to deliver quality care to more people who are vulnerable in more places than ever before, while keeping them close to the people they care about and significantly improving the quality of their lives.”

To fund the project, ArchCare intends to sell two of its seven nursing homes, St. Theresa’s Nursing Home in Middletown, NY, and Kateri Residence in NY, under the condition that they will be kept as nursing homes.

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