Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home Celebrates 110 Years

11/28/2012, 1:37 p.m.

Guided by its mission to offer a quality environment for seniors since 1902, a historical nursing home in the District of Columbia recently celebrated its 110th anniversary.

The Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home reached a milestone in its century-long service to seniors like Vaughn Clark, a 66-year-old amputee, who's lived at the home in the historic Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in Northwest for seven months.

"For me, it's perfect, I couldn't go to another place where I'd get such freedom," said Clark who visited three other homes before choosing Stoddard. "I chose to stay here. I need the discipline, the structure and the ministry." Clark is considered a competent senior because he can take care of himself, and he'll eventually get his own place. However, at Stoddard, he gets meals in addition to therapy to help with his amputated leg, along with the infection in his other foot, which landed him in a wheelchair.

Clark is one of 164 seniors at the nursing facility, one in a growing organization dealing with senior care, which has surpassed its original mission. The nursing home falls under the umbrella nonprofit Stoddard Baptist Home Foundation, which guides and supports the affiliated organizations.

In addition to the nursing home, the foundation manages the Stoddard Baptist Global Care at Washington Center for Aging Services, a 259-bed skilled nursing facility with adult day care in Northeast.

Both are skilled, long-term care facilities that focus on the elderly so the differences aren't vast, said Keisha Clark, Stoddard Foundation's director of development.

"Choosing one facility over another is a matter of preference," said Clark, 35. "Stoddard has been known for its affiliation with the faith-based community, mainly Baptist ministers. Supporters in the community may refer or place loved ones at Stoddard because of the historical connection shared with their churches. Some were once volunteers such as the Cabell family."

When it was time for Reginald Cabell to place his wife, Ethel, in a facility after her stroke two days before Christmas in 2006, he didn't consider anywhere else but Stoddard. She is paralyzed on the right side of her body.

"It offers magnificent care," said Cabell, 79, an elder at Southern Baptist Church in Northwest. "If I wasn't satisfied, she wouldn't be here. I'm recommending by experience." Since Ethel was placed at Stoddard in February 2007, Cabell has visited her every single day. Clark nodded her head in agreement.

Cabell continues to volunteer, leading the choir, and he led various activities such as Bible studies, and other volunteer efforts. Every holiday, he looks forward to spending time with his wife and other residents.

The organization continues to expand as plans are in place to develop the Prince George's County Presidential Estates at Sycamore Hill.

"It's a $19 million investment we're trying to get funded," said Clark regarding the assisted-living facility with 72 beds and adult day care services. "We're hoping to break ground this spring."

Stoddard began as a dream for a retirement home for Baptist ministers, their wives or widows. The initial funds came to Stoddard through the heirs of Marie T. Stoddard, a Washington philanthropist of the late 19th century.