Providence House


Providence House to Open The Country’s First Wellness Nursery

Posted May 25, 2013 in Press Releases

“Elisabeth’s House” slated to open in the fall, serving children with medical needs whose families are in crisis

CLEVELAND — Providence House today announced that this fall it will open “Elisabeth’s House - The Prentiss Wellness Nursery,” a unique model for helping children with minor medical needs whose families are in crisis and alleviate the burden of local hospitals struggling to deal with non-medical family issues. The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss foundation gave $1 million to Providence House to create “Elisabeth’s House” - The Prentiss Wellness Nursery and aid the organization’s ongoing campus expansion.

“Providence House has always responded to the needs of our community’s most vulnerable citizens, children whose families are in crisis,” said Natalie Leek-Nelson, Providence House CEO and President. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in calls for children with minor medical issues, who cannot be safely discharged home from hospitals because their families were dealing with significant challenges, leaving them unable to safely care for their children’s medical needs. We reached out to the medical community and families to provide a solution, and we believe that “Elisabeth’s House” is the answer.”

The Prentiss Wellness Nursery, “Elisabeth’s House,” is a collaborative and innovative approach to a serious community and medical problem. The first of its kind, it will offer intensive family support and crisis intervention services for children with family stability concerns while also providing on-site medical staff that monitor and maintain the children’s medical, developmental, and physical needs.

The initial Providence House concept was further developed by a 39-member taskforce that teamed healthcare professionals from University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, and MetroHealth with Providence House staff and board, as well as insurers, researchers, and children’s healthcare advocates.

The resulting model will allow hospitals to discharge children into the Wellness Nursery’s care, while Providence House staff work intensively with parents to address issues that range from homelessness and domestic violence to substance abuse, mental health challenges and more. The Prentiss Wellness Nursery will also allow hospital physicians and medical personnel to focus on the most serious cases, as children who could otherwise be discharged can now leave the hospitals and be cared for at Providence House.

“The Prentiss Wellness Nursery will be an incredible support both to local hospitals and to families,” said Patricia DePompei, President of University Hospital Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital. “Providence House has done a fantastic job of partnering with the medical community to create an innovative solution to a growing community health need. We applaud Providence House for leading the charge on this important issue.”

The Prentiss Wellness Nursery will serve children newborn through age 10, integrating minor medical care with the holistic child-focused services and intensive family support services that help address the root causes of family crisis and empower families to assume full-time care of their children’s medical needs.

“Elisabeth’s House” will be located across the street from the newly expanded “Leo’s House” on the Providence House campus at West 32nd Street, where the Providence House crisis nursery works to prevent child abuse and neglect by protecting at risk children, empowering their families, and building a safer community for every child.

With capital funding secured, a business plan in place, and a feasibility study completed, renovations are slated to begin this month to meet the fall target date to open The Prentiss Wellness Nursery.

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Emily Perry
216-651-5982 x226

About Providence House:
Providence House – Ohio’s first Crisis Nursery - has cared for over 6,500 families and children in crisis, living for days, weeks, or years without the support they need to help get them back on their feet. To provide the support so desperately needed by these children and their caregivers, Providence House has built a holistic, integrated program focused on both child abuse prevention and family preservation. Their unique Crisis Nursery Program is a comprehensive, crisis nursery service based on 32 years of experience, the latest child welfare research, and proven evidence-based programs and practices that can help prevent child abuse and neglect, reduce system involvement and foster care placements, and strengthen fragile families. Visit for more information.

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