Steere House is an independent non-profit organization, serving adults who require skilled, restorative, and long-term care services within a secure and caring environment. Steere House also provides educational and research experiences that enhance the care of those we serve.
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". The first resident, Mr. JohnDraper, arrived on October 12, 1874.
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 a 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 at 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.
Since 1874, 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 - 2016
Linda M. Cannistra 2016 - Present
As a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, you can expect us to be focused on the quality of care, not on a corporate mandate. We are supported in many ways by volunteers and are able to offer extra activities because of the generosity of our family members and donors. Our Board is committed to ensuring that we remain true to our mission, respond to local needs, and serve as an effective steward of our resources. Resources are used not to benefit stockholders or increase company value, but to increase staffing, improve facilities, enhance services and, most importantly, ensure resident, family, and staff satisfaction.
Of course, the success of any nursing facility is measured by the care provided. Steere House has a long tradition of excellence in care and restoring individuals to optimum health. Our survey results, recorded with the Rhode Island Department of Health, give tribute to this tradition.
We know that it takes commitment by all to consistently achieve high-quality care for our long-term residents and our transitional care patients.
Steere House 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.
Over the years, Steere House has been an organization proud to participate and lead in several 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.
You may have heard of Steere House's famous cat, Oscar when he made headlines in 2007. Oscar was a tabby cat who was adopted by the nursing home as a kitten, Oscar lived his entire life on the 41-bed advanced dementia unit.
Though much of his first year on the unit was nondescript, Oscar suddenly began making visits to residents on the third floor shortly before his first birthday. His visits brought comfort to many during their “end of life journey” as well as families.
Oscar was made famous in the 2010 New York Times bestselling book: “Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat.” A curious, handsome, and fluffy four-legged friend to all! He enjoyed naps in the sun, attending staff meetings, and “patrolling” his neighborhood in the evening.
After 17 years of playing an invaluable role in patients' care, providing comfort to residents and staff alike at Steere House, he passed quietly with friends in February 2022.
Steere House | 100 Borden Street | Providence | Rhode Island 02903 | 401.454.7970
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