Founded by the Grey Nuns in 1931 as the St. Boniface Sanatorium, the Grey Nuns originally cared for patients with tuberculosis. The building was re-named the St. Vital Hospital in 1961.
Children with disabilities were first admitted to the St.Amant Ward in 1959. The organization was re-named St.Amant Centre in 1974 as the space became dedicated to meeting the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.
The Grey Nuns nurtured the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of every individual they cared for, laying the foundation for many generations of work to come. The Grey Nuns were strong advocates for the people they cared for and were determined to teach those who it was said could not be taught, to help children learn to walk who it was said would never walk. They helped each and every individual develop to the best of their abilities.The Grey Nuns were fearless leaders, unafraid to go against the grain or be defeated by the attitudes that prevailed toward those with developmental disabilities at the time. They provided direction and leadership of the organization into the 1990’s.
St.Amant was named in honour of Beatrice St. Amant. Unable to find a facility in all of Canada to care for her young epileptic son, she gave up teaching and did pioneering work caring for children with epilepsy and developmental disabilities in a wood frame turn-of-the-century farmhouse three kilometers west of Transcona.
Beatrice St. Amant cared for more than 100 children at the Youville Epileptic Hospital. When Beatrice St. Amant became ill and could see that her time of service was limited, she requested that the Grey Nuns continue the work that she had begun.
St.Amant Centre grew from a small organization located in one building, to the organization’s first community home that opened in 1977. In 2005 the organization was re-named St.Amant to reflect the scope of work that occurs within the community throughout Manitoba.
Today and Tomorrow
St.Amant is now the largest provider of community living services in Manitoba supporting individuals and their families with residential options, family care and outreach services. St.Amant also has a growing program for pre-school and school aged children with Autism.
St.Amant has partnered with the University of Manitoba and is home to the St.Amant Research Centre. The Research Centre is dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities through research and education. Their work has an impact on individuals, families, educators, health-care providers and policy makers world-wide.
In October of 2000, the Grey Nuns of Manitoba transferred to the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba the stewardship, governance and ownership of their health care works, including St.Amant.
St.Amant is dedicated to caring for individuals holistically, which includes supporting each person’s unique physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs and dreams.
St.Amant is committed to finding new and inspiring ways to help each and every person they support to fulfill their own potential. The dedicated staff work toward these goals through collaboration with families, research, innovation and authentic partnerships with the people they serve. St.Amant aspires to continue to be a leader in the field of developmental disabilities and autism.
The St.Amant Foundation supports the mission and values of St.Amant and is committed to raising funds and supporting the areas of: research, capital renovations and program enhancements for all individuals supported by St.Amant.