Providence Hospital to Kick-Off Yearlong 150th Anniversary Celebration at Basilica

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Providence Hospital will be kicking-off its 150th anniversary celebration with a mass and reception at the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Sunday, June 27 at 4:00 pm with guests including, elected officials, community leaders, medical staff, and Hospital administrators. The main focus of the 150th is to, as a major healthcare organization, address three top health disparities affecting the greater metropolitan area – obesity, infant mortality, and behavioral health (mental health and addiction). This will be accomplished through a series of community events and educational seminars such as the Health and Fitness Day on Saturday, July 17th from 10-2 at Providence Hospital where we will be unveiling our community weight loss challenge “Providence 150,000 Pound Challenge.”

There is no more beautiful and significant backdrop for this historic event than one of Washington's most revered landmarks, the Basilica

In 1861, as the first shots of the Civil War were fired and the bloodiest and deadliest armed conflict on American soil began, President Abraham Lincoln showed unwavering concern for the health of the citizens of the nation’s capitol as he signed the charter for a new site to care for the sick and infirmed – Providence Hospital. It is in that spirit that Providence Hospital, the oldest continuously operating hospital and health ministry in Washington, DC, will mark its 150-year anniversary with a variety of commemorative programs, community activities, and outreach events through 2011. The Hospital’s 150th Anniversary celebration will kick-off on June 27, 2010, at 4:00 p.m., with a special mass and reception at the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Following the service, celebrated by the Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, a dedication and recognition ceremony will honor those who have been influential in the Hospital’s past and present, including other elected officials, community leaders, medical staff, and Hospital administrators.

“There is no more beautiful and significant backdrop for this historic event than one of Washington’s most revered landmarks, the Basilica,” said Amy Freeman, President/CEO of Providence Hospital. “Like the Basilica, the citizens of Washington, DC have looked to Providence Hospital for healing and comfort in times of pain and in times of joy. This mass will mark an important milestone in the evolution of health care in the District of Columbia, and it will also serve as a spiritual call for continued compassionate and dignified care for the city’s most vulnerable and needy.”

The yearlong celebration of Providence Hospital’s 150th Anniversary will also include an upcoming Health and Fitness Day on July 17, 2010, on the Hospital campus. Free and open to the public, the event will offer participants a day of healthy fun and learning, featuring “Mad Jams” exercise demonstrations; nutritional discussions promoting healthy, yet delicious food alternatives; a Farmer’s Market with fresh fruits and vegetables for sale; a raffle and a host of other activities for the entire family to enjoy. An exciting component of the Health and Fitness Day activities will be the announcement of the Hospital’s 150,000-Pound Weight-Loss Challenge. An interactive, online contest, the Challenge will be supported by a website that will serve as the “go-to destination” for enrollment and instructional and motivational messages, as well as updates on cumulative pounds lost among all participants and a protected area for Challenge participants to post their progress.

Other events planned for the coming months include the Providence Golf Classic in August, Tom Joyner’s Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day health fair in September, and a series of Fall community programs highlighting Obesity, which will culminate with an Obesity Forum in Spring 2011. The Providence Hospital 150th Anniversary Gala and “Born at Providence” reunion next summer will round out the calendar of anniversary events. Additional information will be available on these and other anniversary activities in the coming weeks and months.

Founded by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul and chartered by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, Providence Hospital is the oldest continuously operating hospital and health ministry in Washington, DC. A member of Ascension Health – a Catholic, mission-focused organization, and the nation’s largest non-profit health system, this 408-bed community hospital serves residents throughout the region with specialties including maternal/infant health, surgical services, geriatrics, orthopedics, behavioral health, oncology, and primary care services. Providence Hospital is committed to providing spiritually-centered, holistic care, serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.

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