Letter to the Editor: From Benedictine Health System President Jerry Carley

To the Editor:

Benedictine is privileged to have Villa St. Vincent and The Summit as communities within our Ministry. 

During this historic and unknown time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we look to the legacy of our Sponsor, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota for inspiration and hope.  Over their 125 years of service to the northern Minnesota region, our Sisters have withstood traumatic events – devastating fires and floods, financial downfalls and health crisis including the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918.  Their steadfast faith in God and sheer determination has resulted in health and education ministries that are thriving today.  Benedictine is one of those organizations.

At Benedictine, health, wellness and safety is at the heart of what we do.  On a daily basis, we take care of a precious population – older adults – and one that is at extremely high risk for COVID-19.  We are continuing to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as state and local departments of health.  We have developed policies and protocols to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in our communities.

We have a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 taskforce that is working tirelessly to make sure that we are meeting all guidelines that have been established by the CDC and state departments of health.  While we have always had high levels of infection control and screening measures in our communities, we’ve increased these efforts even more.  Associates and other essential workers are screened when entering and leaving our communities.  And our amazing associates have been not only providing exceptional care but also creative ways of engaging our residents and guests while visitors are not allowed in our buildings.

As a national leader in Catholic long-term health care, we know we need to be a model to others always mindful of the words of St. Benedict – “Care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ.”  May we be unified in our efforts during this challenging time and we are grateful to be a part of your community.

Jerry Carley

President and CEO, Benedictine