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Home Health VNA Begins New Program
to Help Newburyport Seniors


Newburyport, – This spring Home Health VNA  launched telephone reassurance program geared towards reducing hospitalizations, “Keeping You Home & Healthy.”  This new program is a pre- and post-discharge telephone follow up and information service for elderly Newburyport patients receiving home care from Home Health VNA. 

“This program acts as a ‘safety net’ for our patients,” said Celeste Dalton, Newburyport Branch Manager for Home Health VNA. “We want to ensure that our patients, especially frail patients that live alone, continue their recuperation as planned and maintain their independence in the home.”

Nurse Nancy Paquin, RN, BSN, is the friendly voice patients hear on the other end of the telephone.  She calls patients getting ready for discharge from services on a day they are not scheduled for a visit.   She also checks in with those who have already been discharged to make sure they are doing well and progressing as planned.

Paquin makes a call to the patient to check on their well being.  She offers nursing advice, and acts as a knowledgeable resource for patients who might have questions about their recovery.  Questions are geared to assess for changes in their condition, including how they are managing their medications.  Often, Paquin’s call may trigger a concern they may have inadvertently forgotten to mention to their visiting nurse.

“The response I’ve gotten has been very positive,” said Paquin.  “The patients have really enjoyed the call and appreciate the chance to ask questions about their recovery.

They are always so thankful that we have checked in on them.  We cover a lot of different subjects in our conversation – making sure they have everything they need from medications to food and we closely monitor any changes in their condition or concerns they may have.”

The new program has received generous funding from two local foundations.  The Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women gave $10,000 to start the program, and the Mosley Fund of Social Services provided $5,750.  This support has been crucial to getting the program off the ground.  Patients residing in Newburyport over the age of 65 who are at-risk for re-hospitalization receive calls from Paquin. 

“Our goals for the program are to reduce re-hospitalization, provide additional support and reassurance and ensure a continuity of care of our patients,” said Dalton. 

“This program enhances our customer service and provides an opportunity for the patient to ask questions they may have forgotten to ask during their discharge process. Many times a patient won’t call a health care provider with a question or concern. This program is an important tool that will ensure patients avoid any emergency situations.”

The Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women also donated an additional $15,000 to the agency to specifically fund care for women in Newburyport over the age of 65.  This donation will provide care to women in the city of who are uninsured or underinsured or have few or no resources to access the medical care they require.

“We are happy to support Home Health VNA in their work,” said Elizabeth Swanson, from the Newburyport Society for the Relief of Aged Women.  “The services they provide to the women of Newburyport are critical for elderly women in this region and directly in line with our group’s mission.”

“It’s amazing what a difference a simple phone call to an elderly patient recuperating at home can make,” said Dalton.  “The generous support of these two organizations has really made a difference in the lives of some of our most at-risk Newburyport patients.”

Home Health VNA is recognized as the regional leader in the delivery of home and community-based medical and supportive care to patients in Greater Newburyport.  The agency is affiliated with HomeCare, Inc. and Merrimack Valley Hospice. 

Together, the three agencies serve more than 80 communities throughout Northeastern Massachusetts, the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire.  Visit them on the web at www.homehealthvna.org.

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The September 2007 Edition of the Valley Patriot
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All Contents (C) 2007
, Valley Patriot, Inc.
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