St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center


“Inspiring.” That is the word I need to use when people ask me “How are things going at the Center?” From so many vantage points there is inspiration to be taken in.

The patients and clients who come for services are people challenged not only by serious health concerns, but also numbing financial circum- stances. We often say, “How do people find the fortitude to get out of bed every day with the burdens they are carrying?” But they do and they are an inspiration.

The volunteers at the Center, some of whom have been coming for ten or even fifteen or more years, fill me with awe. Other than my buttermilk biscuits, there is nothing to hold them here than their commitment to service to others. They share their time and skill freely and the result is healthier patients and a vibrant volunteer community at the Center. I am inspired everyday by the people with whom I work.

The breadth and depth of cross discipline professional services that the Center is able to offer its patients and clients is amazing to me. This interaction of primary, specialty and complementary medicine with mental health and psychiatry along with the network of social work interventions both within and outside the Center fits together into a true health care home model. And we are not an insulated or isolated entity, but enjoy the support and partnership of all the hospital systems, major insurers and many providers in the Rochester area. This kind of collaboration is inspiring.

How the Center is sustained by financial and other resources is not only inspiring but miraculous. For twenty years, you have done the impossible. The Center is by all definitions a totally grassroots, community oriented organization – donation financed and volunteer run. As our numbers and budget have grown over the last twenty years predictions have always been that we would stumble and fall, or that we would have to change our “grassroots ways.”

Well, here we are, and you continue to inspire, proving that when the community is of a mind and has the will it can accomplish amazing things.

The future inspires me also. We have moved well into the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the NY State Health Exchange, despite its software glitches. People are being enrolled, and we are re – tooling to be able to serve those for whom the Health Exchange may not work. The future looks very bright for us to continue to serve those who have few options.

The Center continues to need you. We are a grassroots, community centered organization. We believe it necessary to keep that focus so that we know where the direst needs are and can respond to them in a nimble, flexible and creative way. We are in the midst of our Annual Appeal and I am asking you to be as generous as you are able. You are inspiring.

Thank you.

–Christine Wagner, SSJ


St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center
417 South Avenue • Rochester, New York 14620
(585) 325-5260 Fax (585) 325-3017
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