A word of explanation needed
The inefficiency - not to mention the confusion - that has attended the presence on this small Island of two, competing visiting nurse organizations has bewildered Islanders for decades. And it has frustrated the leaders of both organizations and their supporters, who have on several occasions approached the possibility of combining the two similarly purposed agencies into one, to no avail. The inefficiencies and the confusion will now end. Martha's Vineyard Community Services has announced that it will close its Visiting Nurse Service (VNS), forwarding the care of 72 clients to the Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA), and setting adrift 22 workers. The clients will be taken on by VNA, and some of the staff will as well.
It may have been a necessary decision on the part of the Community Services board. After all, the VNS budget for the current fiscal year (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008) is $1,144,144, or about 20 percent of the total Martha's Vineyard Community Services budget of $5,537,496. But, Community Services must be faulted for failing to lay the groundwork with its staff, its clients, and the community at large. All of these constituencies, not to mention VNA, which learned of the decision at about the same time the community did, in the March 13 edition of The Times, ought to have been better prepared for a decision that will mean so much to each of them. And, the Visiting Nurse Association deserves congratulations for stepping up to the challenge of a rapid and sudden expansion to serve the needs of former VNS patients.