From the earliest days of their founding in 1703 Daughters of Wisdom have been involved in caring for the health of the poor and needy in their midst. Shortly after their arrival to the United States, in the early years of the twentieth century, they were entrusted with the care of children disabled by congenital defects, tuberculosis, polio and many other physical and mental deficits. This ministry grew into several diocesan hospitals in the New York area and one with a school of nursing in Virginia. Eventually, in the aftermath of Vatican II, the Sisters extended their ministrations into the fields of public health, clinics, hospital chaplaincy, teaching nursing in collegiate settings and home health care.
St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY, 1907
Good Samaritan Hospital, West Islip, NY, 1959
Were administrators and heath care professionals at:
AmeriCares, Bridgeport, CT
Holy Family Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
Maryview Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia
Mercy Hospital, Rockville Centre, NY
Pineville Clinic, Pineville, West Virginia
St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children (formerly St. Mary’s Infant Home), Norfolk Virginia, (Est. 1946)
St. Regis Nursing Home, New Haven, CT
St. Vincent’s Services, Brooklyn, NY
Currently serve in:
Visiting Nurse Service, Torrington, CT
Hartford HealthCare at Home, Waterbury, CT
Catholic Charities Mobile Medical Services, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL
Good Shepherd Hospice, Port Jefferson, NY
RotaCare Clinic, Uniondale, NY
Health care remains one of the most important missions of the Daughters of Wisdom who have historically specialized in providing for the needs of patients from infancy to adulthood. Sisters have held positions in cardiology, dialysis, emergency care, medical records, mental health, nutrition, organ transplant services, pharmacy, physical therapy, radiology and social work. They have founded hospitals, opened clinics, served as administrators, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and as nurses. They have had ministries in hospitals, geriatric and hospice care facilities, and in schools across the nation and world-wide.
USA Provincial Leader, Sr. Catherine Sheehan (pictured above) served as a nurse and administrator for over 16 years at AmeriCares, a free medical clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is one of four free clinics in Connecticut that brings together skilled volunteers and donated services from area health care providers, including hospitals and diagnostic laboratories to serve members of the community in need.
Similar efforts stretch from Northern Maine, near the Canadian border and down to Southern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. In Ruskin, Florida, Sr. Sara Proctor, a Physician Assistant, is carrying out the mission of delivering medical services to the poor and marginalized people of rural Hillsborough County, Florida.
Through the auspices of the State of Florida Department of Health Volunteer Health Care Provider Program and Catholic Charities in the Dioscese of St. Petersburg, "Mobile Medical Services" is a clinic on wheels (in a bus) that travels throughout the western part of the county offering medical services to the rural poor of eastern and southern Hillsborough County. The program offers help to people with household incomes less than 200% of poverty level and without health care coverage.
Sr. Sara parks her bus at three walk-in clinic sites serving San Jose Mission, Dover, Fl; St. Clement Catholic Church, Plant City; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Wimauma; Bethel Mission, and Good Samaritan Mission. Mobile bus visits are scheduled during convenient evening and weekend hours and are located at accessible sites such as churches, community based social service agencies, and day care centers.
In addition to providing primary medical care, specialties include GYN, dermatology,
ophthalmology, colonoscopy, lab services, testing supplies for diabetic patients; and includes over the counter medications and follow-up visits. Around 1500-1700 patients are seen in a year through this service.
Pictured above is Sr. Sara at another one of her ministry sites, the San Jose Mission in Dover, Florida. At this office Sr. Sara provides medical attention to the people who are uninsured migrant farm workers and other underserved members of the community.