November 16, 2018

Providence Health Care: ‘Healing for mind, body and soul’

Student volunteers from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College help a resident play the piano at Providence Health Care, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (Submitted photo)

Student volunteers from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College help a resident play the piano at Providence Health Care, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (Submitted photo)

By Natalie Hoefer

St. Theodora Guérin arrived in St. Mary-of-the-Woods from France in 1840 and founded the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the‑Woods. Their primary goal was to establish schools and educate children. But the sisters also embraced the task of caring for the needs of the people in the area they served.

In 2012, the sisters furthered their care for others by opening up to the public the retirement and nursing facility that had previously served only their own. They named it Providence Health Care.

“The Sisters of Providence have always been aware of the needs of the community and want to help meet those needs,” says Mandy Lynch, president and CEO of the facility. “As the elderly population in this country continues to grow, they saw the importance of quality rehabilitation and long-term care facilities. This, along with a desire to remain sustainable for many years to come, led them to make the decision to open to the public.”

Providence Health Care is located on the grounds of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. The facility’s website notes a five-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and a “Best Nursing Facility” rating in 2015 by US News & World Report.

The facility, which accepts those on Medicare and Medicaid, offers assisted living and skilled nursing alternatives, and residents live in private rooms. Numerous forms of therapy are available to residents and outpatients, including physical, occupational, speech, respiratory and aquatic therapy.

Residents can also enjoy personalized music as part of a continuation of care, with the website noting that “music helps to reduce depression and anxiety and improve quality of life.”

Lynch notes that Providence Health Care is “committed to a holistic approach that offers healing for the mind, body, and soul. We’re aware of our residents’ spiritual needs and do our best to meet them. We have a wonderful team of sisters who serve as ministers of care, helping provide extra care and support for our residents.”

Other spiritual benefits include an on-site chaplain, the opportunity for Mass and praying a communal rosary five days a week, plus weekend Mass in the sisters’ historic Church of the Immaculate Conception.

“Mass is also broadcast to all the televisions in the facility, so residents can watch it from the chapel or the comfort of their own room,” says Lynch.

And not many elder care homes are nestled in the midst of two shrines, a grotto, a chapel made of shells, a path with statues of the Stations of the Cross and other nationally recognized historic sites, she notes. With Providence Health Care being located on the Sisters of Providence’s 67-acre campus, residents can enjoy the above sites, plus the property’s numerous stands of old trees, green spaces and nature paths.

The website notes that St. Theodora established the area’s first pharmacy in 1844. Through Providence Health Care, her desire to provide health care continues 174 years later.

(Providence Health Care is located at 1 Providence Pl., Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, in St. Mary-of-The-Woods. For more information, go to or call the general number during business hours at 812-535-4001, or call the 24-hour admissions line at 812-243-2609.)


Related story: Four residences in Archdiocese of Indianapolis base their care of seniors on Catholic values

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!