Medical Respite Opens Its Doors

Benita Zahn of Channel 13 News visited IPH’s new Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite program to share our guest’s stories.

TROY – Managing health issues can be daunting when you’re homeless. To help ease that burden, a unique shelter opened this week. Run by the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, it provides shelter and services for the homeless following a hospitalization.

“I’ve been really, really scared going through this process,” admitted Christopher LaClair.

A series of unexpected circumstances left LaClair homeless three months ago, just as he was diagnosed with stomach and throat cancer. Awaiting discharge from the hospital, he worried about managing his medical needs in a traditional homeless shelter.

He was spared that concern thanks to the opening of a new medical respite program, tailored for people like him.

“I thought, ‘Wow, the heavens have just opened for me, really,'” he recalled.

The Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite, run by the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless, is housed in St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy.

“There are people out there who have no one coming to visit and don’t want to be released to go home ’cause there’s no home to go to and there’s no one to take care of you, or pick you up from the hospital and bring you home and let you rest and help you take care of your needs,” explained Janine Robitaille, the executive director of the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless. “We’re here to change that.”


More Media Coverage of IPH’s Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite:

Catholic Health World, June 1, 2017’s-stick-to-itiveness-on-behalf-of-poor-brings-medical-respite-to-st.-Mary’s


Medical Respite Grand Opening

Grand Opening of Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite,
A program of Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless

Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) is opening the first medical respite program in the Capital Region.

Housed at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, NY, the Grand Opening on March 16th opened the doors to showcase the facilities and resources of Sister Mavis Jewell Medical Respite. The program will serve homeless patients who are hospitalized and upon discharge require recuperative care; however, they do not have access to a stable environment in which to receive on-going care.

The respite program represents the growing role non-profit organizations like Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless have in caring for the health of the most vulnerable in the community. As the cost of healthcare continues to increase, reform efforts like the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP), administered locally by Alliance for Better Health Care, are bringing medical providers and non-profit organizations together in unprecedented ways. By providing a safe 24/7 recuperative environment for individuals in need discharged from the hospital, the program aims to decrease a patient’s length of stay in a hospital, decrease emergency department visits, and minimize occurrences of readmission.

Medical Respite is short term-residential care that allows individuals the opportunity to rest in a safe 24/7 environment while accessing care and supportive services such as: meals, personal care needs, medications, treatments and home care services. While patients are recovering, case managers will also assist in helping to find shelter or housing.

The medical respite program will assist an underserved, targeted population that currently lacks access to post-hospital care, and who frequently use the emergency department for non-emergent health concerns. The program is funded in part by Alliance for Better Health Care, Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Millennium Foundation, St. Peter’s Health Partners, and Friends of Sister Mavis.

The program is named for its strongest advocate, Sister Mavis Jewell of St. Peter’s Health Partners and Daughters of Charity. Her passion for helping the homeless brought her to IPH where she has assisted by advocating, fundraising, and volunteering for over 10 years.

Photo credits: Elizabeth Congiusta and Erin Curely


Sleep-out spotlights homelessness, under Code Blue conditions

CBS 6 News, Albany visited our Sheridan Hollow Drop-In Center to talk to guests who used to sleep outside in the bitter cold. Nurse Nikki discussed the dangers of extreme cold, and two brave guests told their stories about nights outside spent before they found our Safe Haven program.

There are so many ways that you can help us help others.