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St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Recognized for Community Outreach

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2013) - The American Hospital Association (AHA)  today awarded the Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision award to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., for its work to improve the health of its community through actions that go beyond traditional hospital care.  The award was presented to St. Joseph’s by AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock at an event this morning.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a 431-bed metropolitan hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis. St. Joseph’s has a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy that includes a “green” affordable housing development, a home ownership initiative and job training program: 

·         Fifty high-quality, sustainable, affordable housing units across the street from the hospital, financed in part by St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, for working-class hospital employees and other neighborhood residents.

·         Partner housing organization renovating 20 properties for owner-occupied housing.  Hospital guarantees the mortgage of any employee that purchases a home in the neighborhood.

·         Sponsoring a neighborhood workforce development program.  Pilot provided green construction and weatherization training.  It has expanded to include landscaping and green infrastructure training.

“St. Joseph’s neighborhood revitalization program fully reflects its philosophy of a lifelong commitment to the people and communities it serves,” said Umbdenstock.  “Their efforts touch every part of an individual’s health – from ensuring affordable housing development to job training.  I am pleased and honored to recognize St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center for its achievements and commitment to communities.”

St. Joseph’s is in the midst of an expansion project to enlarge its Westside Family Health Center on Syracuse’s Near West side.  The project will co-locate behavioral health, primary care, pediatric and obstetric services all in one location for the underserved neighborhood.  In addition, St. Joseph’s is partnering with Syracuse University and a local grocery store to offer preventive wellness and nutrition programs for the community.

“Health care is more than simply the provision of medical care," said Kathryn Ruscitto, president and CEO, St. Joseph’s. “It’s providing affordable, safe housing, meaningful employment, good schools and social services. We take seriously our role as health care leaders and we are proud to help lead efforts to make our community healthier.”

Established in 1996 and first presented in 1998, The Living the Vision Award recognizes institutions or individuals living the AHA’s vision of a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.  In 2002, it was renamed the Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision Award, in memory of the first hospital trustee to serve as AHA chair.  An important element of the award is that a hospital must be recognized as a leader and nominated by others in the health care field. 

About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, nearly 5,000 hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 43,000 individuals.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the website at www.aha.org.

About St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a non-profit, 431-bed hospital and health care system in Syracuse, N.Y., providing services to patients in 16 counties in Central New York State. Through prevention programs and the latest diagnostic treatment procedures, St. Joseph's works with patients to achieve optimum long-term health. A 14-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis.