The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties (VNA) Board of Directors voted unanimously on Thursday, November 9, to affiliate with the University of Vermont Health Network. The partnership, which takes effect on January 1, 2018, recognizes the importance of greater integration and collaboration among health care providers across the full continuum of care, and will benefit patients by responding to the increasing demand for home health and hospice services. VNA will be the first affiliate to provide post-acute, community-based care.
“I’m thrilled the VNA will have a seat at the table, alongside the UVM Health Network’s member hospitals and physician organization, as we work toward our shared vision of a fully integrated, regional healthcare system,” said Judy Peterson, VNA president and CEO. “Our joint mission is to always provide the highest quality clinical care to all our patients. Through better integration, we will be able to provide more seamless, personalized, compassionate care while also improving the health of the whole community by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and controlling costs.”
“This partnership perfectly captures Vermont’s approach to healthcare reform: bringing providers of all types together in new ways to deliver better, more efficient care,” said John Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO of the UVM Health Network and CEO of the UVM Medical Center. “Better coordination between our organizations will enhance the excellent care the VNA is known for, and provide patients with a smoother transition back home when they have had a hospital stay.”
The innovative partnership is the result of discussions about ways to strengthen efforts to improve the health of the community that began in late 2015.
The VNA will remain a non-profit organization with its own Board of Directors, responsible for its own balance sheet and fundraising efforts. “We will continue to provide medically necessary services to anyone who needs them, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Peterson. “Joining the UVM Health Network affords us the opportunity to tap into additional resources to continue this mission.”
Peterson cites examples such as expanded telemonitoring services, increased education opportunities for clinical staff, and better coordination of patient care between the VNA, hospital and physician offices. Group purchasing through the UVM Health Network will allow the VNA to realize savings that can be reinvested in programs and staff, while technological advances such as a shared electronic medical record (EMR) will make care more seamless for patients and efficient for staff.
Over the next 12-18 months, the VNA brand identity will remain unchanged while the agency focuses on operational integration. In the future, the VNA will adopt the UVM Health Network branding and will develop a new name and brand identity that is aligned with its role in the Network.
About the VNA
The VNA is Vermont’s oldest and largest non-profit home health and hospice agency providing the full spectrum of medically-complex home and community-based care to individuals and families throughout Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties. VNA programs span a lifetime and include comprehensive nursing care for adults and children, rehabilitation services, chronic disease management, hospice and palliative care services, adult day programs and private care services. Last year, the VNA served more than 5,400 individuals and provided $1.54 million in charitable care to our neighbors in need. For more information on VNA services and programs, please call 802.658.1900 or visit www.VNACares.org
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: Working together, we improve people’s lives. The partners are:
- The University of Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital
- The University of Vermont Health Network – Porter Medical Center
Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our affiliates remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.