Our visitors from Japan arrived last night and have begun their week as our guests. This annual event began in 2007 and is organized by the Japan Province of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to engage their medical professionals in an understanding of the Franciscan spirit, an awareness of American healthcare services, and aspects of American culture. This year, Sisters Vianney and Theodora will lead a team of 15 medical professionals from Nagasaki and Himeji.
In 1948, two Hospital Sisters from the American Province who had served at St. Joseph’s Hospital (Jinan, China) arrived in Japan in response to a request for healthcare services. The American Province established a mission in Nagasaki and Himeji and in 1977 the Sisters in Japan established the Japan Province. Presently, the Japan Province sponsors St. Francis Hospital (Nagasaki – 1949), a 208 bed facility with emergency medicine, long term care, hospice, and palliative care; and St. Mary’s Hospital (Himeji – 1950), a 360 bed facility with emergency medicine, acute medicine, perinatal care, and palliative care along with an 80 bed facility for handicapped children. The Province also sponsors Francisco Villa (Tokyo – 1976), a facility for the elderly, and Maria Villa (Himeji – since 1992), a temporary care facility for the elderly. Two Korean Sisters provide pastoral care in community hospitals in Gwandju, South Korea and a Japanese Sister and Korean Sister, who serves in pastoral care in a community hospital, reside in Seoul, South Korea. As of January, there are 54 Sisters, one novice, and two pre-novices in the Japan Province.
Photo: (front row) Sumie Arai, Office Manager (Himeji), Ikuko Kakimoto, Social Worker (Himeji), Yukako Masuda, Palliative Care Nurse (Nagasaki), Akemi Sakuramoto, Head Nurse (Himeji), Sister Vianney, Nurse (Himeji), Sister Theodora, Corporate Office Staff (Himeji), Dr. Yumi Takasaki, Hematology (Nagasaki), Sanae Yasui, Physical Therapist and Manager (Himeji), and Yuko Kamei, physician resident (Himeji); (back row) Kunihiko Nohara, Physical Therapist and Chief Trainer (Himeji), Akifumi Kariya, physician resident (Himeji), Dr. Wataru Murao, Urology (Himeji), Naoko Hirooka, physican resident (Himeji), Ryota Okamoto, physican resident (Himeji), Kazuyo Akeshima, Dementia Nurse Manager (Nagasaki), Kenta Nakai, Care Manager (Himeji), and Nobuaki Fujiwara, Office Assistant Manager (Himeji).