To the Editor:
Last week we learned that the VNA [New federal rules harm VNA and many of its patients, November 27] — a critical health care resource for the Vineyard — is struggling with financial difficulties. We count on VNA nurses and other staff to give us flu shots, take our blood pressure, provide post-hospital medications and procedures, and help us with activities of daily living when we can’t do it ourselves. We know them and they know us. The agency deserves, and I hope will receive, strong Island support
But as the agency works to find firmer financial ground, I understand that they are in conversations with both off-Island and Island organizations. This letter is a plea to VNA staff and board leadership to think hard and long before going off-Island for solutions. The Vineyard needs to have VNA services continue to be responsive and accountable to local patients and families, local physicians, and other local health and human service partners.
The Vineyard is facing an astonishing expansion of our elder population, which will strain all the Island’s health care resources. It is a time when the Island needs to pull together, not be pulled apart. Assuming that it is financially viable, I hope the VNA board will make every effort to find an Island-based solution to its current dilemma, rather than losing control to an off-Island organization. We will do our best to support you as part of the Island family, and hope you will continue to support us.
I am a long-time member of the Dukes County Health Council, and co-chair of the DCHC Healthy Aging Task Force. However, I am writing this letter as a concerned private citizen, not with any “official” hat.