Caring for the Community
Beyond Our Walls
Traveling from their homes and nursing homes to doctor appointments and medical screenings, some 7,200 area senior citizens and disabled residents receive a lift from St. Anthony’s Senior Service Transportation each year. Among them are South County resident Dottie Huhn.
“It’s great,” Huhn said. “It’s so easy, and they’re all so nice. They bend over backward to help. They've saved me a fortune, and that means so much to me.”
History of Service
Senior service transportation is just one of the many services provided by St. Anthony’s through its long tradition of community partnership with its neighbors. From early morning to late at night the campus hums with activity nearly every day of the year, and St. Anthony’s clinicians and outreach staff attend hundreds of events in the community annually.
Those who remember the old St. Anthony’s often tell stories about the Franciscan Sisters who ran the hospital—how they looked beyond the hospital walls for opportunities to serve people in need throughout their south St. Louis neighborhood. This went hand in hand with their mission to serve and care for the poor.
Today the service area has broadened, the hospital has grown into a medical center, and the technologies and skills of its caregivers have grown exponentially. This includes offering a clinical setting in which future health care professionals can learn their skills under the expert guidance of physicians and staff, and through St. Anthony’s partnership with several local universities.
“Developing more hands-on skills with actual, real, live patients makes the transition easier from the classroom into an actual therapist setting,” said Stephen Mank, physical therapist assistant in Acute Rehab.
The mission also includes St. Anthony’s hospice, grief support and end of life care program, which is well-known and well-regarded throughout the community for the dedication of its caregivers.
St. Anthony’s offers a spectrum of services to help improve the health of its served communities, including lectures, screenings, presentations, classes, community clinics, support groups and self-help programs.
Seven local chambers of commerce also claim St. Anthony’s as a member, and the support staff works tirelessly each year to help strengthen the fabric of the community with donations and in-kind services to many community organizations. This includes a partnership with five local school districts to support their Parents as Teachers programs, which promote children’s school readiness for healthy development.
“During the last two program years, 311 families have participated,” said Barb Ehlen, Parents as Teachers coordinator for the Mehlville School District. “These events would not have been possible without the generous funding provided by St. Anthony’s.”
It also includes an active Meals on Wheels program, through which Food & Nutrition Services provides 40 to 45 meals each day to homebound senior citizens, with the help of local volunteers and drivers.
“While we do work hard to provide healthy food for residents, the person who delivers the meal provides that extra check,” noted Terri Thompson, manager of clinical and patient services. “Some of these people are only able to stay in their homes because they are getting these meals. And they are very appreciative.”
The transportation program is free for area nursing home residents, and there is a nominal $15 charge for residents who live in their own homes. The service provides climate-controlled transport in a comfortable van with professional staff, said Rick Herr, supervisor, Senior Service, Home and Intercampus Transportation. Most importantly, the staff is dedicated, noted Ellie Sicola, director of Senior Services.
“They really enjoy what they do,” Sicola said. “Their main responsibility is just picking up our patients, bringing them onto campus and getting them back safe. Most of our patients are from our area nursing homes or assisted living, so they have a lot of mobility issues. So it makes it much easier for us to be able to transport them in a wheelchair in the van and to bring them here on campus for care.”
Generous employees also take part in some of the charitable gestures—from the periodic “Paupers’ Meals” in the hospital cafeteria to raise funds for local tornado victims, to the holiday gift drive hosted by the medical center’s Mission Team each year with Catholic Charities of Jefferson County. These make a direct impact on the community.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.