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St. Catherine’s Village to expand

Apr 24, 2017

Joe Lee, Herald correspondent 3:31 p.m. CT March 14, 2017 Priscilla Fitch, a retired realtor from Lafayette, Louisiana, had no doubt where she would enjoy her retirement. She moved to St. Catherine’s Village in Madison six months ago and is the eighth family member to call the sprawling facility home. Fitch, 71, enjoys independent living at SCV and is often in the company of her sister, Penny Kirkpatrick, 70, who lives in independent living with her husband, George. Their mother, 98-year-old Frances Pierce, has been at SCV since 1999 and lives in Siena Center, a skilled-nursing wing which will be expanded and renovated to offer residents even more comforts and privacy. “The Siena residents have half baths now,” Fitch said. “It will be state-of-the-art, and that will be us when our time comes — as independent residents now. At the same time they are constructing this new building for Siena residents (and) they are renovating for current residents. Everyone here will have that same level of comfort.” ADVERTISING A Certificate of Need applied for by SCV for the Siena Center expansion and renovation was approved by the Mississippi State Department of Health in February. Over 54,000 square feet of new construction will be added, which will allow SCV to convert semi-private rooms in Siena to private ones. The total capital expenditure for the project is over $26 million. “What we’re trying to do is create a home-like nursing situation,” said Mary Margaret Judy, SCV executive director. “We’re going to have an 18-wing unit that will have the dining area in it, and it will just be for those 18 people. There will be a living room where the person can go to enjoy camaraderie and friendship, but not with a huge group of people, which becomes over-stimulating for some.” Judy expects construction to begin in July and for the project to take approximately 18 months. If all goes well, the remodeled and expanded Siena Center will open in January 2019. Story continue below photo. The St, Catherine’s Village Hughes Center, an expansion of Campbell Cove, the Memory The St. Catherine’s Village Hughes Center, is very near to Siena’s renovation design. “There will be a living room where the person can go to enjoy camaraderie and friendship,” said Mary Margaret Judy, SCV executive director. (Photo: Hubert Worley/Special to The Herald) “Mother is the fifth of her sisters to have lived at SCV. Priscilla and I are second-generation family here,” said Kirkpatrick, who moved to SCV from Florida four and a half years ago. “As we had to plan for our own retirement, we were pretty convinced that this was where we wanted to come. “Siena is a little on the small side. There’s plans to enlarge all of those rooms. They will include a full bathroom. A walk-in closet will be included. Mother likes to take care of her own clothing and make her own choices. The bigger bedroom will allow much easier movement with her wheelchair around the room. The bathroom will have a walk-in shower.” Judy said the average stay in the skilled nursing unit when SCV was built in 1989 was less than a year. Now it’s over two years, and new Siena residents are typically in their late 80s. “SCV was my first or second groundbreaking as mayor (and) is the only complete life-care center in the state of Mississippi,” said Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler. “You are cared for. It’s a home, and the atmosphere of community — not an institution — is something the residents know they have. “With Madison being a retirement community, it’s a major part of the city. You couldn’t ask for better, loving care there.” Kirkpatrick and Fitch feel strongly about the sense of home at SCV, whether enjoying time with their mother now or thinking about the transition down the road from independent living to skilled nursing. “Part of moving from level to level (at SCV) is that each room is not institutionalized,” Kirkpatrick said. “Even when you downsize on furniture, you bring your own bedspread, your dresser and your pictures. I think that’s an important part of moving on. “Having your family come to visit you with little children and pets, the more intimate the facility and larger individual rooms will mean better visiting for family members. Everybody won’t be sitting on the bed.” See more at


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