VNA, Western Pennsylvania Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Published: Thursday, September 24, 2015

When a nurse in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania started making home visits to a dozen patients in 1965, an innovative trend in home health care in western Pennsylvania came to life, with the inception of the Alle-Kiski Visiting Nurses Association.

Just two years later, a charter was approved for another VNA in Butler. Alle-Kiski VNA and Armstrong VNA merged in 1981, forming VNA, Western Pennsylvania.

For 50 years, VNA has upheld their reputation of excellence, and now provides skilled nursing care, therapeutic services, home monitoring systems and much more to residents of Beaver, Lawrence, Butler, Armstrong, Mercer and northwest Westmoreland counties. Their goal is to help patients live independently at home through closely monitored restorative services and symptom managment so that they may continue to live an Abundant Life.

"Throughout the years, VNA has always tried to optimize health and independence by providing the highest quality of care," said Margie Walsh, executive director, VNA, Western Pennsylvania. "We work diligently to ensure our patients have great outcomes enabling them to remain in the place they call home."

Throughout its history, VNA, Western Pennsylvania has added a variety of programs and services.

They became the state's first Medicare-certified hospice program in 1981, and opened a new inpatient hospice facility in Butler in 2010.

Hospice helps patients with life-limiting illnesses receive dignified pain management and keeps them as comfortable as possible through palliative care.

VNA, Western Pennsylvania has also been a leader in the use of technology to improve patient outcomes and streamline the medical documentation process. While nurses 50 years ago were using a clipboard to record their notes, by 1992, a new computerized clinical documentation system was introduced, and by 1994, 131 laptop computers were in use by nurses throughout their service area. Most recently, the Stay Well at Home program is providing care and monitoring through the TeleHealth monitoring system, a personal emergency system and medication dispensers, all of which are monitored remotely.

In 2013, an affiliation was formed between Lutheran SeniorLife and VNA, Western Pennsylvania, expanding Lutheran SeniorLife's continuum of care and geographic reach. The expansion of healthcare services has allowed VNA to position itself as a continued leader in home and hospice care, while weaving itself into the culture and vision of Lutheran SeniorLife.

"In today's healthcare arena, it is important to provide an array of services which requires companies to align themselves with like-minded providers who have similar visions for their customers," Walsh said. "Lutheran SeniorLife's goal to help seniors live an Abundant Life is a great fit for what VNA has been about for the past 50 years."

 

 

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