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Sisters of Notre Dame to continue serving Morehead community after hospital merger

St. Claire HealthCare

Officials said Sisters of Notre Dame will continue to serve the Morehead community even with big changes coming to St. Claire HealthCare.

Don Lloyd is the President and CEO of St. Claire HealthCare. He said the integral partnership between St. Claire and the Sisters runs back to the hospital’s beginnings in 1963.

“It was actually nine Sisters of Notre Dame who came to Morehead, lived in the community, helped arrange the financing for the new hospital. And the Sisters themself put up one-fourth of the cost of the original hospital because they saw the need,” said Lloyd.

Now, many of the organization’s members work in the hospital system as board members and advocates. With the merger of the University of Kentucky and St. Claire HealthCare, some people may wonder where the Sisters are in the mix.

The Sisters of Notre Dame is relinquishing their corporate membership of St. Claire to the University of Kentucky, but the Sisters will remain in and continue to serve the community.

“They have supported through thick and thin, through good times and bad, the needs of the people of the region. But the sisters are aging. The average age of the sisters today, of Notre Dame, is 79 years old,” said Lloyd. “And they want to assure that this ministry that they’ve founded, and the needs of the people, are carried forth in the future.”

Lloyd said while the sisters are stepping back as sponsors, the organization has been highly active in the planning process for the merger.

The Sisters of Notre Dame is also establishing a $30 million foundation, called the Sisters of Notre Dame Foundation for Eastern Kentucky to be located near the hospital’s campus. Lloyd said this foundation will help address education, economic, and social justice needs throughout the region.