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Press Room

Check here for the latest VNA news and happenings around the community. For additional information or to arrange media interviews, please contact:
Ann Irwin
VNA Development and Community Relations Director
1110 Prim Road
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 860-4437
irwinREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@vnacares.org

VNA Program Director Selected as Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/14/14

Colchester, Vermont - The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) is pleased to announce that Angel Means, MS, RN, director of VNA End-of-Life Services, is one of 25 health care leaders from around the state who were selected by the Vermont Action Coalition as Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellows.

Angel Means 

The Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellows program, made possible by a Future of Nursing State Implementation Program (SIP) grant, is a $4.5 million initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that helps states prepare the nursing profession to address our nation's most pressing health care challenges - access, quality, and cost. More than 50 Vermont nurses were nominated for the program and only 25 were selected.

"This program will prepare the nurse fellows to lead and inform health care decision-making by leveraging their frontline perspective and providing additional insight into the business and financing of health care," said Mary Val Palumbo, DNP, APRN, associate professor of nursing, University of Vermont and co-leader of the Vermont Action Coalition.

In her role overseeing VNA End-of-Life Services, Angel Means, of Burlington, directs the largest and most comprehensive hospice and palliative care program in the state. She is President of the Hospice and Palliative Care Council of Vermont with includes representatives from across the state and she often testifies before the Legislature as an advocate for quality end-of-life care. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

"Nurses bring practical solutions to complex issues. But when it comes to major changes and identifying new strategies, such as with health care reform today, we are often not at the table," Means said. "I am honored to be joining other nurse colleagues in a program that will strengthen our ability to inform and guide improvement in health care for our state and nation."  

VNA President and CEO Judy Peterson describes Means as a leader with a unique perspective on health and wellness who has been a passionate advocate for end-of-life care. She cited Means' ability to initiate important public dialogue, as evidenced by her role in implementing a statewide Start the Conversation program, which is a public education initiative that informs people of their end-of-life care options and of the importance of making those wishes known to their loved ones before a health crisis occurs.

"Angel Means is an independent thinker who keeps patients and families' needs at the forefront of her work. She is not a person who continues working within a system ‘because it has always been done this way.' She is able to think critically and imagine solutions to improve care, relationships and procedures," Peterson said.

The Vermont Action Coalition's grant for the Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellows program is aimed specifically at making more Vermont nurses available to serve on committees and boards, including state and local government boards and commissions, elected offices, and hospital and community boards.  Vermont Nurse Leadership Fellows will be prepared to seek board positions under the leadership of Betty Rambur, PhD, RN, professor of nursing and health policy, University of Vermont. They will learn leadership skills, strategies for career development, and how health policy is developed and implemented.

About the VNA
The VNA is a 108-year-old non-profit home health and hospice agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care.  The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay.  The VNA serves over 4,900 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year.  For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit http://www.vnacares.org/.

About the Vermont Action Coalition

The Vermont Action Coalition is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a nationwide movement to improve health and health care through nursing. An initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Campaign includes Action Coalitions in 50 states and the District of Columbia working to implement the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing recommendations. Learn more at www.campaignforaction.org. Follow the Campaign for Action on Twitter at @Campaign4Action and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CampaignForAction.

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VNA Receives Pay it Forward Diversity Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/11/14

Colchester, Vermont - The VNA Family Room, a Parent-Child Center that serves primarily immigrant and low-income families in Burlington's Old North End neighborhood, has been recognized for its ongoing efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive community. The Family Room is honored to be a 2014 recipient of the Pay it Forward Diversity Award, a unique initiative created by Champlain College's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Awardees are selected by having previous recipients nominate community partners whom they admire as fellow leaders in promoting diversity. The Family Room was nominated by AALV, an organization that works to foster hope, dignity and independence for New Americans.

"The VNA Family Room is excited and honored to receive this recognition from Champlain College," said Family Room Program Manager Samantha Stevens. "The Family Room takes a broad definition of diversity and inclusion to heart as we plan for and direct our efforts to address the changing needs of our community - a longstanding commitment we share with AALV. We very much appreciate our friends at AALV for extending the nomination and look forward to the opportunity to Pay It Forward."

The Family Room has been working to create welcoming and inclusive programs that strengthen families and support a vibrant, diverse community for more than 25 years; 30 percent of families who attend the program hail from countries other than the United States, including Germany, Bosnia, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Egypt, and Somalia.

In its award nomination, AALV wrote that they commended the Family Room "for programs like The Fathers and Children Together (F.A.C.T.) program which offers parent education, dad-to-dad peer support and weekly parent-child activities to foster strong relationships."

The 2014 Pay it Forward awardees will be honored at a recognition dinner in April. Previous winners have included the King Street Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, United Way of Chittenden County and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. Other 2014 recipients include: Voices for Vermont's Children's Parents for Change, the Sara Holbrook Center, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) and the Community Justice Center. More information about the award is available on the Champlain College website here: http://www.champlain.edu/about-champlain/diversity-and-inclusion/pay-it-forward-diversity-awards.

About the VNA Family Room

The VNA Family Room provides services to parents and their children from birth through five years including preschool, play groups, and parent education and support programs. The Family Room is located at 20 Allen Street (St. Joseph's School) in Burlington. Most of the families that participate in programs live in Burlington's Old North End. All services are offered at no cost to participants.

About the VNA

The VNA is a 107-year-old non-profit home health agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care.  The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay.  The VNA serves over 4,800 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year.  For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org.

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VNA Honors Staff and Volunteers at Annual Dinner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/18/13

Colchester, Vermont - The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties (VNA) held its Annual Dinner and Staff and Volunteer Recognition event on November 13 at the Hampton Inn in Colchester. Staff, volunteers and friends of the VNA gathered to honor their colleagues and friends at the popular celebration.

Over 70 staff and volunteers were celebrated for anniversaries ranging from 5 to 25 years. Pegge Shephard, RN, was recognized for 25 years of service with the VNA's Adult Home Care Program. When Shephard responded to a VNA job listing in the Burlington Free Press in 1988, she wrote in her cover letter that she looked forward to the "exciting challenge" of working in home care. As VNA President Judy Peterson pointed out in her opening remarks, anyone working as a visiting nurse for 25 years has experienced plenty of excitement and witnessed remarkable changes - from constantly evolving technology to sweeping healthcare reforms. Through it all, Shephard - like so many dedicated VNA employees - has adapted with grace and shown unwavering compassion and commitment to her clients.

anniverary

Also celebrating a 25-year anniversary was the VNA Family Room, which opened its doors in Burlington's Old North End in 1988. The program, which primarily serves low-income and refugee families, works to improve parenting skills, facilitate school readiness and decrease isolation through playgroups, mentoring and workshops for children ages birth to six, and their parents. Over the past year, the VNA conducted several interviews in the community as we plan the Family Room's next 25 years. Community partners and leaders consistently said they value the Family Room and consider it a unique model that serves parents and children together. The number of families using Family Room services has more than doubled since 2007, now numbering 494 - clear evidence of the program's vitality. Family Room staff were serenaded and surprised with a birthday cake at the annual recognition dinner.

 

 Cabot award

The J. Churchill Hindes Community Service Award, created to acknowledge a person or group who exhibits exemplary community service and support of the VNA, was given to Cabot Creamery cooperative for their support of VNA Hospice with the donation of volunteer tracking software to strengthen the Hospice volunteer program. Roberta MacDonald, Senior V. P. of Marketing, accepted the award on behalf of the farm families of Cabot. In her acceptance remarks, McDonald, herself a VNA Hospice volunteer, noted that the profoundly positive affect that Hospice care has on families during a very difficult time ties in directly with Cabot's desire to support the communities where their farmers farm and where they sell cheese. It is Cabot's intent to support Hospice programs throughout the country by offering them the volunteer tracking software program which was piloted at the VNA.

About the VNA

The VNA is a 107-year-old non-profit home health agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care.  The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay.  The VNA serves over 4,800 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year.  For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org.

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VNA Announces 2013 Flu Clinic Schedule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/16/13

Colchester, Vermont - The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) announces their 2013 series of seasonal flu vaccination clinics. VNA flu clinics are offered for adults ages 18 and older and will be held at convenient locations in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties through October 2013.  VNA flu shots are administered by a licensed nurse.

The VNA stresses that everyone should reduce the risk of becoming ill by receiving an early flu shot each fall, which protects both the recipient and their family.  Beverly Berry, VNA Corporate Wellness Coordinator, explained, "It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response. Get vaccinated now so you will be protected all season long." She added that this year's VNA vaccine protects against three strains of flu.

The Centers for Disease Control states, "You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick."

A flu shot is especially important for people with high risk of having serious flu-related complications including:

Community Flu Clinics will be offered in September and October. The first clinics take place Sept. 18 in Milton from 9 am to noon and Sept. 20 in South Hero from 10 am to noon.  For complete clinic hours, locations and information, please call the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org/flu

Eligible individuals should present their Medicare B, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield or MVP insurance cards when registering. For all other adults aged 18 and older, a fee of $30 will be accepted. Documentation for reimbursement from other third party insurers will be provided.

The VNA is a 107-year-old non-profit home health agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care. The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. The VNA serves nearly 5,000 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year. For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org.

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VNA of Chittenden & Grand Isle Counties and Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice to Affiliate.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/8/13

Colchester, Vermont - The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) and Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) in Vermont have agreed to an affiliation to support their respective missions by fostering close collaboration, while preserving the independence of each organization.

The two agencies have been working on the affiliation since last year, and have recently received approval from Commissioner Susan Wehry of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living. The respective Boards of Directors of each agency approved the agreement earlier this year.

The affiliation is expected to enhance the overall home health and hospice patient experience while expanding the scope of clinical services according to Judy Peterson, president and CEO of VNA and Sandy Rousse, president and CEO of CVHHH. "I believe we will more effectively meet the needs of our communities and achieve agency goals by working in collaboration with CVHHH. We are both outstanding VNAs and by combining our efforts we will become even stronger, higher quality organizations offering the standardized and innovative care needed in this new era of health care," said Peterson.

"Entering into an affiliation with the VNA will allow us to enhance our services to a large population by sharing knowledge and expertise to improve quality while conserving resources. Also, it will allow our agencies to better support our local hospitals, CVMC and FAHC, by improving consistency in care coordination and transitions for patients as they leave the hospital and go back "home" into the community", added Rousse.

Both organizations will cooperate in strategic planning processes and initiatives to ensure that common strategic objectives are developed collaboratively. The five areas of focus with specific objectives outlined in the affiliation agreement are Clinical Services, Quality Control, Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Finance and Administration. Each area will be represented by its own Staff Council consisting of staff appointed by VNA and CVHHH.

"The affiliation of these two vital health care organizations mirrors Fletcher Allen's efforts to create an integrated delivery system in Vermont. Such a system leads to improved access to care as well as improvements in the quality and efficiency of that care," said John Brumsted, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Fletcher Allen Health Care.

"This new affiliation will better serve Vermonters residing in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties as well as the Central Vermont region," he continued. "Through the strong working relationship Fletcher Allen enjoys with the VNA, I see this affiliation opening up new opportunities to provide better, more coordinated care to the people we both serve going forward."

"CVMC has a long standing and highly-valued relationship with CVHHH. I think they will find, as we have found with Fletcher Allen Partners, that collaboration can lead to opportunities that are beneficial to patients and employees on many levels," said Judy Tartaglia, president and chief executive officer of Central Vermont Medical Center.

About VNA

The VNA is a 107-year-old nonprofit home health and hospice agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, long-term care, adult day services or end-of-life care. The VNA provides medically necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. The VNA serves upwards of 5,000 individuals and families each year. For more information, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or www.vnacares.org.

About CVHHH

CVHHH is a 102-year-old not-for-profit Visiting Nurse Association serving the residents of 23 Central Vermont towns in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. CVHHH is committed to providing comprehensive, high-quality home health and hospice care to all Central Vermonters, regardless of their ability to pay. In addition, the agency promotes the general welfare of Central Vermont with health promotion and long term care services. For more information about the programs and services of CVHHH, contact (802) 223-1878 or www.cvhhh.org.

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VNA Announces VNA Cares for Children Award Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/18/13

Colchester, Vermont - The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) hosted its popular Spring Blooms! Fashion Show and Luncheon on Thursday, April 11, 2013. The fashion show took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center with over 300 guests in attendance to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Janet S. Munt Family Room, the VNA's parent-child center housed in Burlington's Old North End.

Guests enjoyed a delicious luncheon as VNA staff, volunteers, board members, and community friends modeled spring fashions from SportStyle, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Stella Mae, Jess Boutique, and Liebling. Models included T.J. Donovan, Lauren Maloney, Martha Maksym, Theresa Alberghini DiPalma, Bob DiPalma, and Stacy Weinberger.

The VNA Cares for Children Award was presented in honor of Arnold and Virginia Golodetz. The VNA Cares for Children Award was created to recognize individuals, organizations or groups who demonstrate a passionate commitment to better the lives of our community's children. Dr. Golodetz served on the VNA Board for many years and was instrumental in advocating for the creation of the Family Room in 1988. His wife Ginny was one of the very first volunteers at the Family Room and also served on the Family Room Parent Advisory Committee for many years. The Golodetz's were an integral part of the Family Room through many years of change and growth, including the transition from the H.O. Wheeler School to the current space in St. Joseph's School. Arnold passed away this past October and daughter Amy Golodetz accepted the award on behalf of her parents.

The 25th Anniversary Spring Blooms! Fashion Show and Luncheon raised over $30,000 for the Janet S. Munt Family Room. An additional $10,000 check was presented to the VNA Family Room Preschool from St. Michael's College Fix it With Five grant program. The Family Room is a parent-child center serving at-risk families. Resources and services are provided at no cost to families with children up to age 6 and include parent support groups, children's play groups, a licensed preschool, and classes such as cooking, literacy, computer, English, and sewing.

The VNA is a 107-year-old non-profit home health agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care. The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. The VNA serves nearly 5,000 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year. For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org.

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Registration Open for Vermont Respite House 5K Fun Run and Jiggety Jog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/4/13

Williston, Vermont - Registration is now open for the 22nd Vermont Respite House 5k Fun Run and Jiggety Jog. The event takes place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Allen Brook School in Williston. Event participants can register online at www.vnacares.org/run, or call 802-860-4435 for more information. Check-in begins at 8:00 am; the timed 5k run starts at 9:00 am with the Jiggety Jog following immediately after.

Participants of all ages and fitness levels will walk, run, bike, in-line skate, push strollers and pull wagons to raise pledges for Vermont Respite House, a home-away-from-home for people with terminal illness. Pets on leads are welcome to join the fun! Individuals who raise $100 in pledges will receive a Fun Run t-shirt. The $20 registration fee goes towards the participant’s fundraising total. Individuals or teams who raise $1,000 or more will become members of the Jiggety Jog Club and will be honored for their achievement at a ceremony following the race.

Last year’s run raised a grand total of $42,000! Runners who participate in the 5k race will receive an official time and top finishers will be awarded medals in all age categories. Vermont Respite House, Vermont’s only hospice home, is a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties’ End-of-Life Care services.

The VNA is a 107-year-old non-profit home health and hospice agency caring for people of all ages – from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care. The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. The VNA serves over 5,000 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year. For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900.

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VNA Offers Spring Hospice Volunteer Training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/18/13

Colchester, Vermont - Are you looking for a meaningful way to volunteer and support our community? Have you even considered providing support for people with terminal illness and their families? You can receive the training you need through a comprehensive course offered by the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties' Hospice program. This 10-week course, which starts March 20, 2013, will be held on Wednesdays from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm at the VNA Main Office, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester.

Registration is open and runs until March 8th. The $25 fee covers materials and snacks. For those who wish to volunteer at the VNA, there will be a required orientation session on the 11th week, following the training course.

Dr. Paula Fives-Taylor is a long-time VNA hospice volunteer and one of the instructors for the hospice volunteer training. Paula shared, "I strongly feel it's a privilege to be with someone at the end of their lives. We celebrate birth, weddings and birthdays but death is also part of that continuum." This curriculum, presented in a safe and supportive environment, features topics including: Introduction to Hospice and Palliative Care, Patient and Family Unit of Care, Communication, and Grief and bereavement. Each session begins with a presentation on a topic and continues with a facilitated small group discussion.

"The hospice volunteer training is invaluable," says Erica Marks, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at the VNA. "It really helps people think about their feelings toward death and helps them be more prepared for decisions that they face with family members as well as for themselves."

For more information on the spring hospice volunteer training, contact Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Daniel Wilds or Erica Marks at 860-4411 - or visit www.vnacares.org/volunteer .

VNA Hospice is a program of the VNA's End-of-Life Care services. Other programs include: Vermont Respite House, Palliative Care Services, the Madison-Deane Initiative, Supportive Care Services for Children, Noyana Singers and Camp Knock Knock. VNA End-of-Life Care services promote dignity and quality of life for individuals faced with a life threatening or terminal diagnosis.

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VNA Responds to Predictions of a Bad Flu Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/11/12

Colchester, Vermont - The Centers for Disease Control is reporting that this year's flu season is starting earlier and hitting harder than it has in almost a decade. 48 states are already reporting significant flu activity, many with higher activity levels than all of last season combined. Although the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) already completed their official schedule of flu clinics, they are responding proactively to this flu threat by offering vaccines at the VNA Prim Road office in Colchester. For appointments and information, please call the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org/flu.

Dr. Melinda Wharton, Acting Director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, "Increasing flu activity should be a wake-up call. For anyone who has put off vaccination: It's time to get your flu vaccine now." Five states are already reporting the highest level of flu activity possible. Wharton explains, "With the exception of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, this is the earliest that the nation has had such high reports of the flu since the 2003-2004 season, which was early and severe, especially for children. Last season was mild and late, with this many cases not reached until mid-March."

The dominant strain seen this year generally causes more severe symptoms than strains in recent years. Fortunately, the vaccine on the market is a great match for circulating strains. The VNA is fully stocked with vaccines and recommends a flu shot, especially for people with high risk of having serious flu-related complications; these people include:

For appointments and information, please call the VNA at (802) 658-1900 or visit www.vnacares.org/flu. Eligible individuals should present their Medicare B or Medicaid cards when registering. For all other adults aged 18 and older, a fee of $30 will be accepted. Documentation for third party insurers will be provided.

The VNA is a 106-year-old non-profit home health agency caring for people of all ages - from critically ill children to vulnerable families to adults who need rehabilitation, care for chronic illness, adult day services or end-of-life care. The VNA provides medically-necessary home and community-based care to individuals and families regardless of their ability to pay. The VNA serves over 4,800 individuals and families in Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties each year. For more information on VNA services and programs, please contact the VNA at (802) 658-1900.

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