KINGSTON – Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, visited the Kingston area last Monday afternoon, to celebrate the local opening of ArchCare, the continuing care community for the 10-county Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
ArchCare serves over 9,000 people of all faiths, with a number of care programs, in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess and Ulster counties. It is one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the United States.
The facility at 918 Ulster Avenue, better provides services to the northern reaches of the Archdiocese, and includes a new 5,100 square foot training center that will provide free education to help fill the 190,550 direct care job gap estimated in New York over the next seven years.
“I want you to know how proud I am of ArchCare,” His Eminence told the small audience, which included several public officials, including Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack, Sheriff Juan Figueroa, County Legislator Laura Petit, and Ulster Town Supervisor James Quigley.
“The Church is traditionally involved, because we gotta be; it’s what Jesus told us to do,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We’re always taught that professionals shouldn’t have favorites, but that didn’t apply to Jesus. If you ask who were the favorites of Jesus? The answer is easy – the sick, he was always with the sick. That’s what ArchCare does. ArchCare is the agency in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, that coordinates, and gives structure, and encouragement, and professionalism, to our outreach, to those who are sick.”
The Ulster Avenue ArchCare location replaces the former Always There Home Health Care, which provided visiting nurses to the area, and will continue the program, in addition to the new training center. The free education is provided through a state grant from the Department of Health’s Long-Term Care Workforce Investment Program.
Other services besides residential care programs provided by Archcare include health plans, adult day care, long-term skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, assisted living, hospice, and acute care specialty hospital services for people with Huntington’s disease, HIV/AIDS, developmental disabilities, and other health issues.
The Ferncliff Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Rhinebeck; Senior Life Center in Westchester; and a mobile health clinic for the Hudson Valley, also fall under the ArchCare umbrella.
The Archbishop performed a blessing, as part of a program with hymns, psalms, and readings, plus remarks from Scott LaRue, ArchCare president & CEO. Dolan personally greeted everyone he encountered with handshakes and warm regards, in his charismatic style, drawing laughter with a joke about the background music playing when he first walked into the building.
“I never entered a room to begin a ceremony, where they were playing The Temptations singing ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’.” Dolan said. “My job is to help you fight temptation, not to listen to it, you see, But, I’ll take it, alright.”