150 Years… and Counting

By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO
St. Ann’s Community

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

That quote came to mind as I contemplated an awesome milestone: This year, St. Ann’s Community celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding. Think about that…150 years of compassionate care for, as we are fond of saying, “the most important people on earth.”

In 1873 (while Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House!), the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester laid the foundation for an organization that would set the standard for care across generations. What began as a haven for young immigrant women transitioned to St. Ann’s Home for the Aged in 1904, and we’ve been growing ever since.

I’ve talked often about the landmark renovation of St. Ann’s Home completed last year, bringing into the modern age a building constructed in 1963. I’m extremely proud of the many ways that project has benefited our elders and enhanced the lifestyle they enjoy at St. Ann’s. Yet I understand that the leaders who came before me set the stage for everything that followed.

Remarkably, there have been only three CEOs of St. Ann’s Community. Sister Marie Michelle Peartree served from 1963 to 1997 and, among numerous other milestones, oversaw the development of St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks. From 1997 to 2014, Betty Mullin-DiProsa provided stellar leadership which included (again, among other landmark moments) the creation of St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge.

I am humbled to stand on the shoulders of these giants. Their vision and that of the Sisters of St. Joseph are the foundation upon which we continue to build. From a single building in downtown Rochester to a community spanning three counties and serving thousands of elders, St. Ann’s Community proudly stands as a pillar of caring 150 years after its founding.

Rest assured we won’t stop here. Future generations of elders deserve the same incomparable levels of care and comfort as those we serve today. And as their needs change, St. Ann’s will change in response. We will continue to provide care in which Elders can find meaning, joy, and connection. Given the dedication of our staff, the inspiration of our elders, and the tradition of service we continue to honor, the next 150 years look to be simply magnificent.

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