Milwaukee Catholic Home (MCH) and the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province (SSNDCP) announce a new partnership to support the care of retired religious, share community and build toward common mission goals.
MCH, founded in 1913, offers a full continuum of care for older adults, including independent living apartments, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, memory care and skilled nursing. Additionally, MCH provides operational management services to other non-profit organizations.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province is part of an international community of women religious whose mission is to proclaim the good news, directing their entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. The sisters live and minister in 57 dioceses, 21 states, the U.S. territory of Guam, Austria, Italy, Japan and Nepal. They continue the sacred work of their foundress, Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, to transform the world through education, giving special emphasis to women, young people and those who are poor. Their commitment to education includes Mount Mary University, which they founded in 1913.
“The mission of the School Sisters of Notre Dame has always been the same mission as Jesus: to make one, and to do that in our lives and in our ministries,” said Sister Mary Anne Owens, Provincial Leader of the Central Pacific Province.
In 2014, at an assembly of all the sisters in the province, the School Sisters of Notre Dame began looking toward the next phase of their congregation, both its challenges and opportunities. These included the management of their various properties and the increasing population of aging sisters in need of additional care. They put into place an Integrated Planning Process to address these needs, which included the pursuit of additional partnerships.
Conversations between Milwaukee Catholic Home and SSNDCP began in 2017. With its 105-year history of excellence in senior care, its recent success with collaborative models of care with religious orders such as the Assumption BVM Province of Order of Friars Minor, and its faith and mission affinity, MCH was a natural fit as a partner to meet SSNDCP’s needs.
“We are not healthcare providers, and healthcare has gotten increasingly complex and regulated,” said Sister Mary Anne Owens. “We realized that in order to provide the best possible care for our sisters, we needed to partner with someone who was in healthcare, who could witness our values that we hold as critical, and witness the sense of care and compassion for these women who have labored for so many years for the Catholic community.”
The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2018, outlining their shared goals, and in July 2018, implemented the first phase of their partnership. As part of this phase, Milwaukee Catholic Home has assumed day-to-day management of the operations of the residence for retired sisters located at Notre Dame of Elm Grove, the SSNDCP property in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. MCH will support SSNDCP in implementing new, innovative models of care and will connect them to the support, resources and overall health care framework that MCH has to offer.
The two organizations look forward to further conversations and opportunities to expand on their partnership.
“It’s an honor to be able to put our expertise at the service of these women who have given their own lives to serving others,” said Dave Fulcher, CEO of Milwaukee Catholic Home.
“We’re excited and grateful that we’ve come this far. This is an opportunity for both of us,” said Sister Mary Anne Owens. “That’s what collaboration really is: it’s that ability to work with another group in a situation where you really do both have the same values and try to promote the same goals.”