St. Joseph of the Pines is marking seven decades of caring and commitment in the Sandhills by hosting a weeklong celebration in May that will feature events for colleagues, residents, volunteers and the public.
"We are reaching out to all who have so selflessly invested in our ministry," said Steve Kastner, president and CEO at Trinity Health Senior Communities. "We would not have reached this milestone without their unwavering commitment to fulfilling our mission of being a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities."
St. Joseph of the Pines began its legacy in 1948, when the Diocese of Raleigh purchased the old Pine Needles Inn in Southern Pines and converted it into St. Joseph of the Pines Hospital.
Since then, the focus has shifted from acute care to long-term care. Today, St. Joseph of the Pines is the fifth-largest employer in Moore County and serves more than 1,500 older adults – 67 percent of whom have lower incomes – every day across seven campuses and six counties.
"We have a long history of making a difference in Moore County and the surrounding region," said Kastner, a former president and CEO at St. Joseph of the Pines. "This is one way of saying, 'Thank you,' to everyone who has contributed to our success over the years.
"St. Joseph of the Pines has always been about people – those whom we serve as well as those with whom we serve."
The celebration begins May 18 with a cookout for colleagues on the fitness lawn at Belle Meade. There will also be a lunch for residents and volunteers at Pine Knoll on May 20, a sales and marketing event on May 21, a public event May 22 at Pine Knoll, and a VIP dinner May 23 at Belle Meade.
"We are really looking forward to the public event because we are inviting anyone who was born or treated at St. Joseph of the Pines Hospital to come for a group picture," Kastner said. "It will create a fun, reunion-like atmosphere. We're also inviting all first responders in Southern Pines and Moore County EMS."
Linda Pearson, executive director of the United Way of Moore County, said she is always happy to return to the place of her birth.
"I'm proud to tell everyone I was born at St. Joseph of the Pines Hospital," Pearson said. "My mother told me that I was the reason she spent the Fourth of July holiday in the hospital instead of out celebrating. I was born the next day, when she and my dad were happy to meet their first little girl. Both of my sisters were born at the hospital as well."
In addition to Belle Meade and Pine Knoll, St. Joseph of the Pines operates independent living campuses at its Providence Place locations in Aberdeen, Carthage, Red Springs and Robbins; assisted living at The Coventry and three Family Care homes; skilled nursing and rehabilitation at The Health Center; Home Care in Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore and Robeson counties; and a PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program in Fayetteville.
"The celebration provides St. Joseph of the Pines with a unique opportunity to promote its full aging service network and mission to a wide variety of customers," said Mike Fiske, chair of the St. Joseph of the Pines Board of Directors. "Now is a perfect time to trumpet our past, embrace the present, and look forward to spending another 70 years identifying opportunities to remain a leader in improving the health of our communities and each person that we serve."
St. Joseph of the Pines is an aging services network offering a full continuum of retirement housing, health care and community-based services for older adults as well as community outreach to those in need. It is a Trinity Health Senior Community continuing the legacy of the Sisters of Providence.