Sisters of Charity plan health campus near St. Vincent Hospital in downtown Cleveland

Sisters of Charity plan health campus near St. Vincent Hospital in downtown Cleveland

Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and the former president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System, said the plans are in line with the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine’s 170-year record in Cleveland, much of which involves work to help the poor. St. Vincent, built in 1865, is the city’s first permanent general hospital. Krey said MASS Design will finish collecting feedback by the end of this year. After that the firm will create a plan for the campus. The hope is that other organizations that provide educational and health services will set up shop near the hospital.

As part of its planning, Sisters of Charity has hired MASS Design Group of Boston to develop plans. The firm will first talk with residents and leaders at organizations in the area to determine what services are needed. “We hope that this campus becomes a really wonderful destination for this community,” said Susannah Krey, senior vice president of the Sisters of Charity Health System and president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

A news release said the design process is aimed at “addressing social determinants, poverty and racial segregation, and upward mobility.” The hospital will anchor the development, which will be known as the St. Vincent Charity Health Campus.

“The notion really is steeped in the challenges the community saw around COVID,” Krey said in an interview. “COVID laid so bare the health disparities the community has experienced, especially our Black and brown neighbors.” Source While the organizations have been planning the health campus for some time, Krey said the coronavirus pandemic, during which many people became isolated, uncovered the need for additional mental health services among the the populations they serve.

However, “our anticipation is financing will come,” Karam said. “The opportunity will be there because many funders are interested. They acknowledge that social determinants have an interest in success for people, to achieve health.” Karam and Krey did not provide a timeline to build out the campus. Karam also said the charity does not yet know how much the campus will cost to develop.

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