• The Spirit of St. Joe: Legacy of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne
  • Same City food truck offers free restaurant-quality dishes with a side of compassion
  • McMillen Health launches new app for women with opioid use disorder
  • Prenatal & Infant Care Webinars
  • Hungering to assist those in need?
  • Free cooking classes help Fort Wayne families fight obesity and health challenges
- Continuing a history of compassion and excellence -
In the news:
The Spirit of St. Joe:
Legacy of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne
Originally published on wpta.com: Nov. 12, 2021 at 7:24 PM EST
Story by Mary Eber

St. Joseph Hospital was born out of the former Rockhill House Hotel in the mid 19th century, becoming the first hospital in Fort Wayne.

Construction began on the hotel in 1838 by William Rockhill, one of the leading pioneer settlers of Fort Wayne. It was built as a luxury hotel and took almost 20 years to construct before the doors opened in 1854. But the hotel wasn’t successful and didn’t last long before closing in 1867.

Bishop Luers saw a need for a hospital to serve those in need in the city, so he got a group of people together to donate items for an auction that people could buy tickets for and purchased the old hotel for St. Joseph Hospital in 1868.

“Somebody would donate a pig, somebody donated a watch, all these people together, and they had a big auction and that’s how they raised the initial funds,” said the Executive Director of the St. Joe Foundation, Meg Distler.

With the building secured, Bishop Luers needed people to run St. Joseph Hospital. He contacted Catherine Kasper, who founded The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, a religious congregation of women, in Germany in 1851. She chose eight sisters to come to America. They arrived in the summer of 1868, and after crossing the ocean and taking a train from New York, they landed in Fort Wayne.
- Dignifying all people with quality food -
Grantee spotlight:
Same City food truck offers free restaurant-quality dishes with a side of compassion
One of Fort Wayne’s newest food trucks, Same City food truck, is delivering more than just free Latin American-inspired dishes to people experiencing homelessness. Its chefs are also serving up a big side of compassion along with entrees like Peruvian fried chicken with a pineapple molasses syrup.

Same City is the brainchild of Joshua Gale, executive director of Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network, the only local shelter providing emergency housing for homeless families.

Just Neighbors introduced the food truck this summer as part of the agency’s efforts to support and develop relationships with people who don’t have a place to sleep at night.

“What leads to homelessness in the first place is a disconnection with the community,” says Gale.

“Unless we’re building community, you really can’t solve the issue.”
Same City food truck chef Isaac Dees serves up a Peruvian inspired poutine to a guest
- Respecting the dignity of each person -
Grantee spotlight:
McMillen launches new app
for women with opioid use disorder
McMillen Health has released a new app called Healthy Tomorrow, which offers important information for pregnant women or new mothers with opioid use disorder (OUD). Development of the app was supported by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation; it’s available for free through Apple or Google Play.

According to McMillen Health, when pregnant women use opioids, whether through a prescription or illicit use, the drug and dependency passes to the baby. The majority of these infants face sudden withdrawal at birth and experience neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which is characterized by tremors, screaming, seizures, breathing problems, poor feeding, and low birthweight. More than 15% of all babies born in Indiana test positive for opioids and experience some symptoms of NAS.
- Connecting area professionals to care for moms and babies -
Education opportunity:
- Prenatal & Infant Care Webinars -
Addiction, Opioid Use Disorder,
and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome 
Identifying the Warning Signs of Addiction in Your Clients – Dr. Sarah Turner
New Resources for Moms with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and Babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) - McMillen Health
December 1, 2021
Vaccination, Pregnant Women & Children
Eric Shoemaker, DO (Family Provider) and Dr. Lucia Fouts (OB-GYN)
Two local physicians will share the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine. They will cover the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in both pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children.

The presentation will help care providers and those within the Prenatal & Infant Care Network more precisely discuss with their clients the opportunities and concerns associated with COViD-19 vaccines. All of these physicians also serve on the Medical Advisory Board of Healthier Moms & Babies.
December 10, 2021
- Giving thanks and giving back -
Let Mother Teresa's words guide Thanksgiving efforts
In the news:
Hungering to assist those in need?
Mary Tyndall is Double Up program manager and chief storyteller for the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation.


For many of us, the Thanksgiving season is a time of abundance: We have more than enough turkey, mashed potatoes and pie. But while we see our own tables filled with stuffing and cranberry sauce, many of our neighbors have far less on Thanksgiving and every other day.
- Making healthy food available through cooking classes -
In the news:
Free cooking classes help Fort Wayne families fight obesity and health challenges
Ruth-Anne Rigby and her 18-month-old daughter waiting for class to start at The Shepherd’s Hand Community Outreach Center.

When Ruth-Anne Rigby heard about the Our HEALing Kitchen cooking class, she thought it would be a good opportunity to hone her meal preparation skills for herself and her family. What she has found in the first few weeks of the class is that it is so much more than that.

“Everyone is friendly here,” Rigby says. “You make new friends, and now they’re like a family away from family.”
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.