History

Holy Family Hospital was founded in 1947 by three Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.

The Sisters of Providence

The three Sisters of Providence came to Vancouver from Kingston, Ontario at the invitation of Archbishop William Duke of the Vancouver diocese. They arrived by train and took up residence on five acres of land on the corner of East 62nd Avenue and Argyle Street in Vancouver, BC. Here, they converted a five-bedroom house into a nursing home for elderly women, where they managed to accommodate between 15 and 23 patients at a time.

To serve their patients, they tended the farm, cooked the scarce amounts of food that came from the land or were donated by generous benefactors, and laundered linens and clothes with out-dated equipment, including tubs and wash boards. They even sold the lilies of the valley that grew on the land, to raise funds for patient care.

A History of Innovation and Compassionate Care

To meet the needs of Vancouver’s increasing elderly population, Holy Family Hospital expanded to a 52-bed facility in 1953, with a focus on arthritis and stroke patients. By 1955, a rehabilitation program was fully under way, with physiotherapists, recreation and occupational therapists, social workers, speech pathologists and nursing staff.

Expansions in the 1970s and again in the 1990s brought Holy Family to its current state of 65 rehabilitation and 142 extended care beds, including a renowned ambulatory rehabilitation program for older adults. In 1994 the program was enhanced with the addition of the “Easy Street Environments™,” the first installation of the program in British Columbia, and only the fifth in Canada.

Holy Family Hospital and Residence

Now a provincial leader in the multidisciplinary care of older people, Holy Family Hospital became part of Providence Health Care in 1997. It maintains the spirit of the founding Sisters by tending to the physical, emotional and spiritual care of its patients and residents.