DePaul Commemorates Daughters of Charity’s 190th Anniversary

NEW ORLEANS – From DePaul Community Health Centers:

Jan. 6 marked the 190th anniversary of the Daughters of Charity providing health care to the Greater New Orleans community. The Daughters of Charity’s founding occurred in 1633 when a French widow, Saint Louise de Marillac, and a French priest, Saint Vincent de Paul, organized the order to serve France’s poor. In 1834, Sister Regina Smith and nine other Daughters of Charity began managing and overseeing Charity Hospital of Louisiana in New Orleans.    

“The Daughters’ accomplishments emanate from having compassion for people. They learn about needs in the community and work hard to fulfill those needs,” said Dr. Michael Griffin, resident and CEO of DePaul Community Health Centers (DCHC). “Their willingness to serve, innovation and dedication to addressing the health care needs of this community continue to inspire our work today. We are honored to celebrate their 190th anniversary of providing health care in New Orleans.”

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The Daughters of Charity garnered numerous accomplishments, including erecting Hotel Dieu Hospital (1859), managing the Louisiana Leper Home in Carville, Louisiana (1896), celebrating 100 years of providing care at Hotel Dieu Hospital (1959), selling Hotel Dieu to the State of Louisiana (1992), and establishing Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans (1996), which today comprises 11 Federally Qualified Health Centers in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Those centers are now known as DePaul Community Health Centers.

“The Daughters of Charity came to New Orleans 190 years ago in response to the needs of those who were sick and less fortunate,” said Sister Catherine Kelly, DC, an Ascension DePaul Services board member. “We have spent years in the ministry of education, especially at the elementary level, and now we are working with those who are homeless, as well as continuing our work with DCHC and the health ministry. All of the sisters who are currently in New Orleans are extremely proud of our long history and heritage with the people of this city, and we look forward to it continuing for many years to come.”

While the Daughters no longer work in health care on a daily basis, many of them serve as volunteers in various capacities with several organizations, including DCHC.

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