Long term skilled nursing care and short term rehabilitation services
12 Gamelin Street in Holyoke, Massachusetts     (413) 420-2500

With the opening of Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place, the Sisters of Providence, pioneers in the health care and social service fields, began revolutionizing the delivery of long term skilled nursing care, as well as the setting traditionally associated with short term rehabilitation services. Gone is the medical model of the past. In its place is an exciting, innovative, state-of-the-art social model that promises to be as attractive to those receiving care as it is to their families, physicians, and caregivers.

OUR STORY: Mary's Meadow at Providence Place in Holyoke, Mass, a dream come true

When the doors officially opened in summer 2009, the promise of Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place, made over ten years earlier, stood in quiet testimony to both a pledge kept and a dream come true.

In 1997 the Sisters of Providence's Infirmary, then located in Providence Mother House, was relocated to nearby Providence Hospital. That move occurred just prior to the SPs’ major renovation of Providence Mother House, their home of 65 years, into Providence Place, a rental retirement community for both Sisters and the laity.

Keeping a promise

At the time of that first relocation, the SP Leadership made a promise to the “Infirmary Sisters,” as that local community of SPs is affectionately called. Their promise, that one day the Infirmary Sisters would live even closer to the gold dome of their former Mother House, subsequently took shape in the dream of Mary’s Meadow. While the Infirmary license at Providence Hospital was restricted to the care of women religious and priests, Mary’s Meadow is licensed to also accept laypersons for long term care and short term restorative services.

No matter its location, the Infirmary has always been “home” to Sisters living there, and home is certainly the operative word at Mary’s Meadow. “I can’t stress that enough,” emphasized Sister Joan Mullen, SP President at the time, “We’ve planned Mary’s Meadow to be a home, not a nursing home that is ‘like a home,’ or ‘home-like’—but a home.”

Heralded as the first of its type in the Bay State, the construction of Mary’s Meadow is a noticeable departure from the nation’s traditional, medical models of long-term care buildings.

Located south of Providence Place, its four, separate, ten-person houses are designed to offer elders accommodations with a comfort level equal to that of residential homes. Amenities include private rooms with full baths, a foyer, living room, hearth, dining room, den and kitchen. All inside finishes and hardware are residential and residents enjoy easy access to the outdoors. Each house, while standing separate from the other three, is connected to a central chapel, named in honor of Our Lady of Providence.

The beautiful chapel, open to persons of all faith traditions, offers its visitors quiet, sacred space for private prayer and reflection, as well as, the availability of regularly scheduled religious services. The chapel also offers a fitting window into the spirituality of the Sisters of Providence and their mission of bringing hope, healing and dignified, compassionate care to the persons they serve.

Explaining a new model

“The level of care is consistent with skilled nursing facility requirements,” Sister Joan explained. “Unlike the traditional nursing home, however,” she added, “Mary's Meadow follows a social rather than a medical model. Or, in other words, clinical care within a habilitative, social model.”

“We made this change,” Sister Joan explained, “to keep our Sisters as independent as possible for as long as possible. We wanted to empower them in their own care and quality of life and empower the self-directed team caring for them. And this model helps us do that.” 

Introducing Elder Assistants

The new model has a licensed nursing staff and “elder assistants,” a new category of staff with the educational background and training of certified nursing assistants, plus significant additional training, who are key to the concept’s success.

The elder assistant puts the elders she or he assists at the center of all decision making and assists them with meal planning, cooking, laundry, personal care, and other resident-centered activities. “We expect this model of care to provide our Sisters with deeper relationships and an increased sense of security, physical comfort and enhanced spiritual well-being,” said Sister Joan.

An important component of the care available at Mary’s Meadow is rehabilitative, short-term care for Sisters and the laity following hospital stays.

“We were already providing rehabilitative services to our Sisters,” continued Sister Joan, “and with the marked increase in numbers of people requiring short-term rehab care we wanted to extend the availability of this type of care to the laity. From our earliest beginnings (1873), our Sisters cared for the elderly wherever we served. And,” she concluded, “over the last ten years, we, as a Congregation, “made the decision not to build just for our Sisters but to include care for the laity— as we did with Providence Place—whenever we are able.”

Other ministries

The Sisters of Providence also sponsor: the Sisters of Providence Health System; Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center; Providence Place at Ingleside; Providence Ministries for the Needy; and, nationally, cosponsor Catholic Health East with nine other congregations and Hope Ministries.

 DIRECTIONS to Mary’s Meadow

From the Mass Pike (I-90) East or West:

1. Take Exit 4 off the Mass Pike. Exit right at the first fork. Bear left at the next fork to Route 5 North. Immediately move into the left-hand lane.

2. At the traffic light turn left onto Highland Avenue (between Shell Gas and Dunkin’ Donuts). Bear right at the Y.

3. At the crest of the hill, turn right onto the Providence Place grounds and follow signs to Mary’s Meadow.


From I-91 North or South:

Take Exit 14 off I-91. Follow signs for Route 5 North. Immediately move into the left-hand lane and proceed to step #2 above.
Interested in becoming a resident at Mary’s Meadow?

Email Mary's Meadow or write to: 

Photo of Jackie Boileau
Jackie Boileau
Admissions and Marketing Coordinator
12 Gamelin Street
Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040


Download the interest sheet. (It can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

To review employment opportunities at Mary’s Meadow, visit the "Employment" link below. Be sure to choose “All” in the Job Category menu and choose “Mary's Meadow at Providence Place” in the Job Location menu.)

Sisters of Providence

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