Ultimate Plan Will Address Current & Future Needs of the Sisters While Maintaining Their Century-Long Legacy

GRAND RAPIDS, MI January 26, 2018 . . . For nearly a year, the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids have engaged in conversations with select entities and reviewed detailed proposals about the future use of their buildings and property on the Marywood Campus. After careful deliberation, the Sisters have decided to pursue this campus planning effort with local partner Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, along with its parent organization Trinity Health. Together, they will address the entire Marywood Campus, with an initial focus on the immediate residential and care needs of the Sisters.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s proposes a comprehensive repurposing of the campus for senior living and primary health care, with housing and care of the Dominican Sisters as a priority. In addition, the plan will include deliberate steps to grow Dominican Center at Marywood as a contemporary expression of the Sisters’ mission and allow the Marywood campus to flourish. The initial phase of the plan includes a comprehensive market study and community needs assessment as well as assessing the housing needs of the Sisters.

Throughout their decades of service in West Michigan, the Dominican Sisters have continually evaluated their resources in light of their mission to serve others and the capacity of their membership and acted accordingly. Today, the Sisters are furthering that process as they begin their work with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and its parent company, Trinity Health, to envision the future of Marywood and ensure their legacy continues.

Through the partnership, Trinity Senior Services Management, a special division of Trinity Health Senior Communities, will play an active role in managing the property. Trinity Senior Services Management specializes in helping religious sponsors in sustaining their ministries through changing times.

According to Sister Maureen Geary, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, “This project will continue the Sisters’ thoughtful and intentional planning for long-term, sustainable and viable solutions that
support the Sisters in living a vibrant, God-centered, mission-driven, people-focused life on the Marywood Campus. Integral to this project will be our continued awareness of, and attention to, the needs of the greater Grand Rapids community. We feel, as a Congregation, there could be no better collaborator in our journey than Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Trinity Health.”

David McEwen, COO, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, said this about the collaboration with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids: “It’s a rare opportunity to work with an organization whose core values mirror your own and such is the case with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. At the heart of our proposal is the respectful care and support of the Dominican Sisters and continuation of the Sisters’ mission and ministry on the Marywood campus. It is our distinct honor to have this opportunity.”

Related to the Sisters’ campus planning for the Marywood Campus, the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids recently became the sole owner of Marywood Health Corporation, which operates Marywood Health Center. This licensed, certified skilled nursing facility is eligible for Medicare reimbursements and offers recovery and recuperation therapy for area seniors between their hospitalization and returning home.

According to Sister Maureen Geary, “We are so pleased to continue this important ministry and we thank Porter Hills Retirement Communities & Services for their partnership with us in establishing Marywood Health Center as a licensed facility four years ago and for managing the facility. It has been an important and beneficial relationship as we now move into sole ownership of Marywood Health Corporation and prepare to work with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Trinity Health, in administering the Health Center.”

Marywood Health Center provides a full range of rehabilitation services to the West Michigan region. Patients come to the Marywood Health Center for holistic, restorative healing. The care that is provided focuses on both the clinical and spiritual care that is needed for individuals recovering from illness or injury. While the legal ownership will change, the same friendly and compassionate staff members will continue and the range of excellent services with top-notch outcomes will remain available to patients and their families.

Kim Hoppe, Vice President of Finance at Porter Hills, said: “Porter Hills has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids. Together, we have been privileged to provide compassionate care with a commitment to excellence, both for the Dominican Sisters and for the greater Grand Rapids community. As we each now focus on our respective strategic planning priorities, we are pleased that the Dominican Sisters will continue to provide this care to our community.”

Sharing the bountiful gifts that Marywood offers has always been a hallmark of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids. Carrying on the Sisters’ unique contributions to the community will be a primary focal point in their future plans as they contemplate new, exciting opportunities to further their mission on and through the Marywood Campus.

The ultimate plan will accomplish the following objectives:

• Improve on-campus living accommodations for Sisters to reflect their changing needs.
• Assess, imagine, identify and prepare under-utilized space for new uses and new partnerships today and into the future, including senior living and health care opportunities for the general public.
• Explore opportunities to generate revenue streams for the Congregation to support needs and mission.

Integral to the plan, will also be to:

• Address the continued integration of the Marywood Campus with the surrounding neighborhood and community.
• Preserve green space throughout the campus.
• Provide the necessary flexibility to meet the challenges of a changing, unknown future, specifically as it relates to the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.
• Allow the legacy of the Congregation to flourish.

The mission of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids is that of Jesus Christ. Formed by the Word of God, we dedicate our lives to the mission of proclaiming the reign of God.

For more information about the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, or the Congregation’s campus planning, please contact Mary McLoughlin at (616) 698-0748, mobile: (616) 340-3784, Mary.T.McLoughlin2015@gmail.com.

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