VNA will provide home health services at Nantucket

The Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA) will begin providing home health care services on Nantucket on or before May 2. The move comes as Nantucket Cottage Hospital ends its home health care and visiting nurse program, effective December 31, 2010.

Citing continuing financial losses as the reasons for ending its services, Nantucket Cottage Hospital had assured clients of its program that it would help arrange alternative services for Nantucket as soon as possible.

“It was a very difficult decision to eliminate our home care services, as we know many of our patients will need nursing, therapy or personal care as they recover,” said Dr. Margot Hartmann, president and chief executive of Nantucket Cottage Hospital. “In reviewing their policies and practices, I am convinced that the VNA’s experienced nurses and therapists, coupled with the advanced technology they are using, will give residents of Nantucket and their physicians piece of mind when choosing to recover from surgery or an illness at home.”

The VNA, operating on Nantucket as Nantucket VNA, will offer a full range of home health care services including: skilled nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and personal care.

Nantucket Cottage Hospital has provided the VNA with a grant to help offset starting costs. All intake, scheduling, billing and other back office functions will be handled by the VNA office on Martha’s Vineyard. The Nantucket VNA office will be housed in Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

“We recently went to Nantucket to meet the hospital staff with whom we will be working” said Sandie Corr-Dolby, clinical director for the VNA. “We felt supported and encouraged. This collaboration should give Nantucketers a sense that their new home health care organization is working side-by-side with physicians and the hospital staff to provide the best possible care.”

Established in 1984, the VNA cares for more than 1,500 people each year on Martha’s Vineyard, making more than 30,000 visits each year.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to open a Nantucket Office,” said Robert Tonti, chief executive of Vineyard Nursing Association, in a press statement released February 15. “Living on an island can make health care decisions complicated. We know that recuperation after surgery or illness is safer in the home, and home health care services are critical to that recovery.”