St. Joseph of the Pines, one of the largest employers in Moore County with about 780 colleagues, provided a community benefit of more than $2 million in a year in which the nonprofit marked its 70th anniversary.

“Our legacy of caring and commitment started seven decades ago when St. Joseph of the Pines was founded by the Diocese of Raleigh,” said Lori Portfleet, president at St. Joseph of the Pines. “We would not have reached this milestone without the countless colleagues and volunteers who have selflessly invested their time, talent and treasure to fulfill our mission of being a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities.”

The annual Community Benefit Report produced by St. Joseph of the Pines shows that the nonprofit donated just over $1.9 million in assistance to programs for the less fortunate and another $127,609 to community-based programs.

“This report provides a snapshot of our impact in the past year,” Portfleet said. “We’re also proud of the growth we have achieved, especially completing the Belle Meade clubhouse renovation and starting an addition to The Coventry.”

The $2.3 million renovation, which was unveiled last July, significantly improves wellness for current residents and positions St. Joseph of the Pines for the incoming wave of baby boomers.

“Our future residents are extremely savvy consumers and wellness is a top priority for them,” Portfleet said. “So, we need to be prepared when they make the transition to our community. Our emphasis on wellness is probably the most critical factor to our future success.”

Central to the renovation was reconfiguring and renaming the formal and informal dining rooms, adding a pub, and creating distinct menus for each venue. In addition to revamping the dining experience, the renovation included new furniture, carpet, paint, wall coverings, light fixtures and equipment, among other improvements.

An initial phase completed in 2015 tripled the size of the fitness center, renovated the pool complex and locker rooms, and relocated the art studio to a larger space. A wellness bar was created across from the entrance to the fitness center during the second phase.

“We want residents to feel like every day here is going to be a great experience,” said Stephen Phillips, executive director of independent living and wellness at St. Joseph of the Pines. “It’s not just about being physically active. You can also maintain or improve your health through the social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and purposeful living aspects of wellness.

“We focus on things that encourage active living and make people happy. Having a purpose is an important part of staying alive.”

The $1.9 million addition to The Coventry, an assisted living building on the Belle Meade campus, is nearing completion and will feature 10 new apartments for people in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

We currently have an Alzheimer’s wing in our Health Center for people in the latter stages of the disease,” Portfleet said. “The Coventry addition will complement that program.”

In addition to Belle Meade, The Coventry and The Health Center, St. Joseph of the Pines operates Pine Knoll; three Family Care homes; Providence Place campuses in Aberdeen, Carthage, Red Springs and Robbins; a PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program in Fayetteville; and Home Care agency in Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore and Robeson counties.

“St. Joseph of the Pines has always been a mission-driven, innovative health organization,” said Cheryl McNeill, chair of the St. Joseph of the Pines Board of Directors. “We look forward to identifying opportunities to remain a leader in improving the health of our communities and each person that we serve.”

New initiatives launched in the past year include a partnership with the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, co-hosting an “Ideas in Ethics” lecture series with Sandhills Community College, and bringing an art exhibit to Belle Meade that was open to the public.

“St. Joseph of the Pines partners with numerous nonprofits and businesses in Moore County to ensure the wellbeing of the communities that we serve,” Portfleet said. “We are always open to new alliances that enhance this capability.”

St. Joseph of the Pines also hosted a number of speakers and other free events on its campuses last year.

“We continually seek to bring subject matter experts to our campuses for free events that enlighten our residents and the general public,” Portfleet said. “We take great pride in helping to make the communities that we serve better places for all.”

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