Neighborhood health center expands

The latest construction project at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center in Rochester truly has tested the faith of its leaders, said Executive Director Sister Christine Wagner.

The center, which is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, offers free or low-cost health-care services from volunteer medical, mental, dental and eye health-care professionals; adult literacy and GED tutoring; social services advocacy; legal and financial counseling; help in arranging for patients to receive free prescriptions; and a communal telephone.

To meet a dramatic increase in demand in 2008, center officials purchased a neighboring building and in August of that year began a construction project to connect and renovate the two structures. A $1 million campaign was begun, "and then the economy tanked," Sister Wagner said.

Rather than postpone the project, the center’s staff decided to continue and trust that the money would come in later. Sister Wagner said that the center is still about $300,000 shy of the $1 million mark.

The center, which opened in 1993 and had previously expanded in 2001, hosted an open house Nov. 22 to show off the building and its 3,000-square-foot addition. Sister Wagner that said the addition has allowed the center to treat patients more quickly and efficiently.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To contribute to the capital campaign, make checks payable to St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, 417 South Ave., Rochester, NY 14620. For details, visit, or call 585-325-5260

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