Villa Maria opened as a nursing home on February 15, 1971. It was built by the Vince Crary family on land given to them for a nominal fee by the Presentation Sisters. Mrs. Helen Crary served as the facility administrator. In the early years, ‘Villa’ had 132 beds. 66 beds on the North Unit were licensed for nursing care and Medicare. 66 beds on the South Unit were used for basic care. As the community needs and licensing rules changed, the entire building then became licensed for skilled nursing care.
In 1983, Mrs. Crary retired and the family decided to sell Villa to Lutheren Hospital and Homes Society. The sale became final on January 1st, 1984.
Founded in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1971 by the Crary family, Villa Maria opened as an assisted living facility.
In March of 1980, Villa opened the first on-site Intergenerational Childcare Program in the state of North Dakota. In 1986, we opened the first adult day program in the Fargo / Moorhead area called, “The Club Connection.”
In 1993, a building project began to update the facility and bring the Intergenerational services together on the main floor. The Westlyn Pod (Lovely Lane) was completed in 1994. The Oaktree Pod (Oak Lane) was completed in 1996. During this renovation, Villa expanded to 138 beds.
On April 18th, 2002 Villa Maria, along with 5 other nursing homes in North Dakota owned and operated by Banner Health System, became a part of Sisters of Mary of the Presentation Health System. SMPHS is a catholic, faith-based, non-profit organization that is sponsored by Sisters of Mary of the Presentation. The Sisters introduced the ‘Respect’ philosophy.
In 2007, Villa underwent a major construction project. Updates included: a Chapel (named the Crary Room), newly constructed Westlyn Pod (Friendship Lane) resident rooms, reconstruction of the main entrance and dining room, the 2nd floor, which added additional office space and training areas, the beauty shop, and the therapy gym. The updates also included new windows, carpeting, HVAC, and fire protection upgrades.
In 2021, SMP Health System embarked on rebranding initiative. Villa Maria’s name was changed to SMP Health – St. Catherine South. Rosewood on Broadway, our sister facility located in North Fargo, was renamed SMP Health – St. Catherine North.
As resident and family preferences shifted, there became a greater demand for private rooms. St. Catherine South began downsizing its bed capacity, and converting semi-private rooms to private rooms.
In 2022, SMP Health – St. Catherine South began a major construction and renovation project on ‘Memory Lane,’ one of its four major resident occupied units. After completion, the unit was renamed ‘Villa Lane’ in honor of the facility’s rich history and roots. Villa Lane now boasts 20 newly renovated private rooms for our residents and their families to enjoy.
The facility currently operates as a 98 bed skilled nursing facility with over 175 employees.