Eagle Crest Resort, Redmond OR

22nd annual conference
October 13 - 16, 2016

"Enduring Spirits Untold Stories"

Drury Plaza Hotel

Santa Fe, NM

Enduring Spirits Untold Stories



Drury InnDrury Plaza sits on five beautiful acres adjacent to St. Francis Cathedral, built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886. The hotel features spacious, light-filled rooms with stupendous views of the Santa Fe skies. The restaurant draws from local ingredients and influences to create a mouthwatering cuisine and the rooftop bar by the pool has breathtaking views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fully renovated buildings are steeped in history, and surrounded by a pedestrian oasis - all in downtown Santa Fe.

Drury InnMake room reservations directly with Drury Inn. Reserve online at www.druryhotels.com with Group number 2240633. Reservations may also be made by calling 1-800-325-0720 using Group number 2240633. You must use this group number to get the “Women Writing the West” room rate of $139 (single or double). Room rates are guaranteed until 9/11/16.

Transportation from the airport to the hotel: Contact Sandia Shuttle: (888) 775-5696 or www.sandiashuttle.com. Cost is $30 one way or $55 round trip.


The Drury Hotel and Sister Mary Joaquin

The lovely new Drury Hotel, the venue for this year's WWW conference, has a history going back to 1953 when the building housed St. Vincent's Hospital, Santa Fe's only hospital. The story of St. Vincent's is also intimately associated with this year's conference theme of “Enduring Spirits.” The hospital's administrator, Sister Mary Joaquin, is one of these “enduring spirits” who played an important role in Santa Fe's history.

In 1865, Bishop Lamy asked the Cincinnati Catholic Sisters of Charity to come to wild west Santa Fe to start a hospital. The Sisters, at first working out of a two-room adobe shack, took care of gunshot wounds and snake bites, sobered up the drunks, and did their best to deal with more serious conditions. Over the years the hospital moved into a series of new buildings. By 1950, when Sister of Charity, Mary Joaquin, came to Santa Fe, she was appalled by the backward condition of health care in Santa Fe, stating that the existing hospital was surviving on “nerve and hope.” In 1953, Santa Fe's noted architect, John Gaw Meem, designed a new state-of-the-art hospital on the corner of Palace Avenue and Paseo de Peralta, and Sister Joaquin was appointed by the Sisters of Charity to be CEO of northern New Mexico's only full-service hospital for some sixteen years. The nun was beloved in the community, taking care of the indigent as well those who could afford to pay, following up on her patients and visiting them in their homes. For those who needed help after their hospitalization, she would send out her friends to cook meals or do laundry or clean their houses or simply to visit and talk. Noted nationally by hospital and civic organizations for her business savvy and her efficiently run-- if always financially strapped-- facility, The New Mexican touted in 1969 that the administrator “rivals the nation's top business women.” She was also honored when Santa Fe's mayor proclaimed the city's “Sister Mary Joaquin Day.”

By the 1970s, the “new” Meem hospital wasn't new anymore. The basement flooded in the rain, and the administrator was never sure if the elevator would work, sometimes making it necessary to carry patients up the stairs. Santa Fe was growing, and Sister Joaquin knew that the city must have a new hospital. Further, the city was no longer the predominantly Catholic community it once had been, and the nun knew a Catholic hospital wasn't appropriate for the diverse population of Santa Fe. Sister Joaquin organized a Community Corporation of Santa Fe citizens to take over ownership of the hospital, and convinced her Cincinnati Sisters of Charity to sell the facility to the new corporation. She then set about fund-raising and lobbied the city council and the state legislators to help finance a modern hospital on a large site on St. Michael's Drive, which, in the 1970s, was then at the far edge of the city. The nun worked closely with the architects and engineers, the lawyers, fundraisers, and the community corporation--whose citizen members had to take a crash course in hospital administration. When the new hospital opened its doors in 1977, she joined the huge crowd that was celebrating: balloons and speeches, ecumenical blessings, and dancing by the San Juan Pueblo Eagle Dancers. When the crowd was invited in to see the new facility, Sister Joaquin stopped at the front door and didn't enter: “My work here is now finished,” she told the crowd.

A devout nun, Sister Joaquin retreated to a little hermitage in a Mexican village to spend the rest of her life in quiet contemplation and prayer. At least that was her plan. But when she arrived in the village she was horrified at the poverty and sickness around her—the distended stomachs of hungry children, the dysentery caused by the polluted river water, the heartbreaking little white coffins carried past on the way to burial, the plight of the women who bore too many children they couldn't care for. She opened a clinic in her little hermitage and called upon her doctor friends in Santa Fe to send her medical supplies and her many friends to send clothing. She convinced a Santa Fe church group to help dig a well so there would be fresh water for the villagers. Ignoring edicts from Rome, she gave grateful women depo provera contraception shots. “I don't care,” she said, “these women need help!”

After her death, in 2003, I visited her village in Mexico. The well was still providing fresh water and there was a bridge she had organized the villagers to build over the river so they wouldn't have to walk through the shallow polluted water. The women told me how much they loved “Madre,” as they called her, and how they missed her marvelous “shots.” One woman said that she had five children before Madre came, and after the nun had to leave--- alas, she had five more.

The old hospital was used for a while by the state, and then stood empty until 2014 when the Drury Company opened their hotel. Sister Joaquin's work to establish nondenominational community ownership of St. Vincent's Hospital was undone in an ironic twist: financial difficulties caused it to be sold in 2008 to a Texas-based Catholic hospital organization. Today only older Santafecinos remember this enduring spirit who cared for their ills, watched over their births, and worked so hard to give them a modern new hospital.
--Mari Graňa

Old Santa Fe Inn

Old Santa Fe InnOld Santa Fe Inn is owned by a fourth-generation New Mexico family that has long been an integral part of the Santa Fe community. With deep appreciation for the city’s dynamic history and diverse cultural traditions, the family founded the Inn to offer guests southwestern ambiance at affordable rates. Only two blocks from the Railrunner train station and four blocks from Santa Fe Plaza on Route 66, guests can find the best of Santa Fe within walking distance. All rooms are furnished with traditional New Mexican furniture and local art.

Old Santa Fe InnOur special rate (before tax) will be $144.96 for a Traditional Room (Q or K) and $162.46 for a Kiva Traditional Room (Q or K). Rates include a hot buffet breakfast each morning, free parking and free wifi. To make a reservation dial 505-995-0800 and tell the front desk clerk that you want to make reservation for the Women Writing the West group. Rates expire Sept 13, 2016. First night deposit required and there is a 72 hour cancellation policy. Please note the hotel has just 54 rooms.

The Old Santa Fe Inn is located south of the plaza, about seven blocks from the Drury Inn. Day parking is available at the Drury for those not wishing to walk between the two.

Hotel Santa Fe

Hotel Santa FeHotel Santa Fe, the Hacienda and Spa is located on Paseo de Peralta, which wraps around the downtown plaza area. The hotel celebrates 25 years of service this year and is Santa Fe’s only Native American owned hotel. It is located near both downtown and the Railyard District, a short walk from the Old Santa Fe Inn. Rooms and décor celebrate the native tradition. Complimentary Shuttle Service is provided around Downtown Santa Fe and to and from the Drury Hotel--- the hours of operation are from 7am until 11pm. If those staying at the hotel need to go to the Drury at a specific time, arrangements can be made for a group Hotel Santa Fereservation for that specific time.

The special rate for our conference is $159 (with $19 resort fee waived) for Traditional King/Double Rooms and possibly some Picuris Suites as well. Included is the complementary shuttle service, complementary parking and wi-fi, and 15% discount on spa treatments. Rates expire on 9/13/16. For reservations call 877-259-3409 and ask for the Women Writing the West group rate.


Santa Fe Santa Fe is a city of deep history, rich culture, delicious food, diverse art, and unique charm.

Since around 1050, the city has been home to Pueblo (Tewa) Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and Americans. The oldest European city west of the Mississippi and the site of the oldest public building in America, it was a key station on the Santa Fe Trail and today is recognized as one of the most intriguing cities in the nation. Its historic buildings have been preserved along with its rich cultural heritage.

Santa FeSanta Fe is the home of renowned artists, talented Native American artisans, the Santa Fe Opera, art museums, historic site, and diverse restaurants.

Consider bringing your family along to explore the area. Ballooning, river trips, horseback riding, cooking classes, local pueblo tours, historic sites, natural parks, and the pure charm of the city await!

See http://santafe.org for more details on this one of a kind city and activities!

Santa FeGetting to Santa Fe is easy! Located off interstate 25, it is an easy six hour drive from Denver and just 50 minutes from Albuquerque.

Shuttle service operates between Albuquerque International Airport and Santa Fe; American Express and United fly directly into Santa Fe Municipal Airport.