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Henry J. Steere
Henry J. Steere and Lucy Bucklin founded “the Home for Aged Men” in 1874, actively contributing to efforts by several clergy and individuals in the Providence area to support the need for the “formation of a society to provide a home for aged men, similar to the one founded in 1865 for aged women". At the January 1875 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly, a charter of incorporation was received for the Home. Henry J. Steere served as the corporation’s first president. His Presidency was part of his long legacy of community philanthropy and leadership. Henry Steere also served as the first Treasurer and a founder of Rhode Island Hospital during this time.
Originally located on Point Street in Providence, Steere House was not large enough to meet the growing demand for accommodations. In 1882, the Home was moved to a second residence. Henry bought, repaired and furnished the dwelling at the corner of Chestnut and Clifford Streets.
Dreaming of expanding the Home and the needs of the community, Henry left $150,000 upon his death in 1889. His gift would be valued over $3.8 million in today’s dollars. This generous legacy allowed the new “Home” to be built and opened in 1895. In 1908, the Home expanded its mission to include the admittance of couples and ultimately single women as residents.
Over the years, changes occurred gradually and the stately structure was no longer designed for the frailties of the elders residing there. Therefore, a new facility opened on the campus of Rhode Island Hospital in January of 1991.
The facility was renamed Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in honor of the visionary man who influenced health services in Providence during his lifetime and the century to come. The new name also served to reflect the various types of care now offered. The current three story facility is a 120 bed, freestanding skilled nursing facility.
Currently, Steere House is honored to be a Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services 5-Star rated nursing home for overall high quality care and programs.
The organization offers short stay or post hospital care for individuals returning to community settings, but also has a long history of care for those with memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. The campus is a state of the art facility with city gardens and patios, and discrete living environments to meet the different needs of our residents.
And yes, we are the home of a dementia companion cat named Oscar, made famous in the 2010 New York Times best selling book: “Making Rounds with Oscar: the Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat.”
Over the years, Steere House has been an organization proud to participate and lead in a number of community-wide, long-term elder services. We are a founding member of the Carelink network, PACE of RI (Program of All inclusive Care of the Elderly) and other initiatives. With the Scandinavian Home of Rhode Island, we founded the Seasons of East Greenwich, an assisted living facility.
A teaching facility, Steere House offers on-site real world experience to Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine Geriatric Fellows and Medical students, University of Rhode Island Pharmacy interns, hands on nursing opportunities for Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and many others.
For more than 140 years, Steere House has been assuring the best quality of life for each short term and long term resident in our care. This is a commitment made to each resident by our staff and our Board of Directors.
Henry J. Steere 1874-1889
James E. Cranston 1890-1895
Charles H. Sprague 1896-1900
Gen. Elisha H. Rhodes 1901-1916
Albert Babcock 1917-1924
Charles H. Philbrick 1925-1940
T. Dwight Boole 1941-1956
H. Nord Kitchen 1957-1975
Andrew Swanson 1976-1979
John W. Aiken 1979-1982
Anne Foster 1982-1983
Ralph Barlow 1983-1986
John W. Aiken 1986-1992
Richard Peterson 1992-1998
Lorraine E. O’Rourke 1998-2004
Norma J. Owens 2004-2010
Andrew C. Spacone 2010 - Present