St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica community remember Sister Rose Vincent
By Elizabeth L. Pratt
Sun contributing writer
UTICA — Not very many people can claim the level of achievements made by Sister Rose Vincent Gleason, OSF during her 88 years. Much of her public notoriety was due to her tenure as CEO of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, a post she held for 28 years.
“What you saw in public was what she was really like,” said Robert Scholefield, COO of St. Elizabeth’s. “She always had a smile on her face. Her primary focus was what was best for patients, and she was always concerned about the care of the poor.”
Sister Rose Vincent was integral in establishing the hospital’s Family Medical Center, located at 120 Hobart St. in Utica. She died Nov. 23, 2011, and at a memorial Mass held for her in January, St. Elizabeth’s current President/CEO Richard H. Ketcham announced the naming of the Family Medical Center after her. There were more than 30,000 patient visits at the center last year.
Additionally, the Sister Rose Vincent Legacy Fund was recently created to further honor her memory. The fund, which was started through donations received after Sister Rose Vincent’s death, will be a permanent endowment for use at the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medical Center.
“It’s just one way for us to remember her for years to come,” Scholefield said.
Scholefield worked on Sister Rose Vincent’s administrative team in the 1990s, and said she had been instrumental in developing the hospital’s nursing and radiology programs. He remembered Sister Rose Vincent as an active, engaged advocate, always talking about healthcare, attending meetings in Albany, and working to find ways to help the poor.
“She had high expectations,” Scholefield said. “She was committed to education and care for all people, and the decisions she made reflected that.”
A lengthy list of accomplishments
Sister Rose Vincent became a member of the Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order in Syracuse in 1946. She went on to become a registered nurse and to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, as well earning a radiologic technician degree and a master’s degree in hospital administration. Sister Rose Vincent held memberships in numerous organizations, and was honored more than 20 times by various community organizations for her dedication.
“She was bright, intelligent a strong leader, a great business leader,” Scholefield said. “But she never forgot what was most important.”
Scholefield said it was common knowledge in the St. Elizabeth’s family that Sister Rose Vincent was incredibly supportive.
“If anyone was having difficulty with something or needed time off, she would always tell them that family was more important than any job, and to take care of their family,” Scholefield said.
Scholefield said he remembers the Franciscan sister made a strong impression on people by reminding them of the three most important things in her life — in order: God, family, and the hospital.
“Her primary concern was what was best for the patients,” Scholefield said.