Rosie’s Place and Regis College celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Wellness Center at Rosie’s Place, which provides health care to poor and homeless women, on Sept. 19.
The Wellness Center started in 1993 with one Regis College student and one faculty advisor. They conducted blood pressure screenings and foot care in a corner of the Rosie’s Place cafeteria, according to Rosie’s Place President/Executive Director Leemarie Mosca.
Today, the Wellness Ce,nter has expanded to serving 4600 women each year. “We’re proud to offer quality wellness care five days a week,” Mosca said, “with a reliable, holistic approach that addresses the unique needs of poor and homeless women.” Along with Regis College nursing faculty and students, Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless and Health Care Without Walls are also partners at the center, providing services to women.
Mayor Marty Walsh always speaks highly of Rosie’s Place, and thanked the many people involved with the Wellness Center for their continued and dedicated support.
“When you think about Kip [Tiernan] who started this 25 years ago, it was an advanced idea; it was a progressive way of thinking, of truly helping heal or support the whole person; something that’s really important,” Walsh said. “In 25 year, this has grown from a great idea into a powerful force of good, serving over 4,600 people per year.”
Walsh said that between 2016 and 2018, the city reduced chronic homelessness on the streets of Boston by 20 percent.
“Rosie’s Place is an amazing place,” Walsh said. “Rosie’s Place helps rebuild lives.”
Regis College President Antoinette Hays talked about how much the program meant to women when it was first created. She said colleges and universities in the area have the honor and responsibility “to step in and use the power of education to solve problems.”
“Our nursing students are given real-world experience here,” she said of the Wellness Center. “It’s been 25 years; we look forward to another 25.”
Roseanna Means of Healthcare Without Walls said “we feel incredibly grateful,” and is proud to have nursing students from programs across the city involved with the Center.
“We’re so grateful to be part of this community,” said Melinda Thomas of Healthcare for the Homeless, and be “able to enhance our relationship with Regis College.”
“I can’t think of. A better place for nursing students to learn,” she added. She said their future patients will always benefit from their experience caring for women at the Wellness Center. She said she’s “amazed” by the services offered at Rosie’s Place, and looks towards another 25 years.
Rosie’s Place does not accept funding from the city, state, or federal governments, so it is not required to disclose patient information, “which makes it safe for all immigrant women to receive the care they need and deserve,” according to a release from Rosie’s Place and Regis College.