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History

 

VNA Care Network

VNA Care Network is a nonprofit home health care, palliative care, hospice, and wellness provider serving more than 200 communities in Eastern and Central Massachusetts. VNA Care Network traces its roots to 1891, when residents of Dedham raised money to start the Dedham Society for Emergency Nursing, later known as Visiting Nurse Associates.
 
The Worcester Visiting Nurse Association, later the VNA of Central Massachusetts, began visiting the sick and elderly at home in 1892. VNA of Central Massachusetts also included Spencer Visiting Nurse Association, established 1908, and Leominster Visiting Nursing Association, established 1919. Marblehead/Swampscott VNA was formed in 1896. The agency's first nurse made 98 visits to 18 families during her first month on the job. Cambridge Visiting Nurse Association was established in 1904 to deal with public health problems like influenza, tuberculosis, and polio. Visiting Nurse Association of the North Shore opened four years later (1908) to provide nursing services to mothers and newborns in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates. VNA North Shore later included Gloucester's District Nurses, established 1914.
 
The parent companies of Visiting Nurse Associates, Cambridge VNA, and VNA North Shore merged in May 1995 to create VNA Care Network. By working together, these agencies enhanced their ability to respond to local health care needs while improving quality, affordability, accessibility, and scope of programs and services.
 
VNA Care Network grew again with the merger of the VNA of Central Massachusetts in January 2000 and the Marblehead/Swampscott VNA in August 2002. VNA Care Network acquired UMass Memorial Home Health and Hospice in September 2012. The agency began in 1966 as the Wachusett Home Health Agency and added hospice services in 1995.
 

VNA of Boston

The VNA of Boston is a non-profit organization dedicated to home and community-based health care. Established in 1886 under the auspices of the Women’s Education Association (WEA) and known as the Instructive District Nursing Association (IDNA), the IDNA was the first organized home health care provider in the country.
 
The idea of public nursing was not new to the WEA. As early as 1872, it had been active in establishing the first training school for nurses in the United States at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, now known as The Dimock Center. Following this success, it began studying methods of nursing for the poor in other US cities and in England. Once satisfied that there were many people in the world and especially in the Boston community who needed nursing and medical care, but would not seek help due to their inability to pay for it, a small group of WEA members hired Amelia Hodgkiss as a nurse to work with the physicians of the Boston Dispensary in 1886.
 
So great was the perceived need, in fact, that in the first year alone, Hodgkiss, together with another graduate of the New England Hospital training program, provided 7,182 home health visits to 707 patients, a remarkable schedule by today’s standards. Working conditions were difficult at best. Since telephones did not exist, nurses made visits with the doctor so that they could receive medical orders first-hand.
 

VNA Hospice & Palliative Care

VNA Hospice & Palliative Care has been providing care, comfort and support to patients and families since 1979.  
 
VNA Hospice & Palliative Care is a pioneer in care for the terminally ill in Massachusetts. The agency includes the former Hospice of Central Massachusetts, which became the first Medicare certified hospice in the state in 1984, as well as Hospice of Cambridge and Hospice Community Services of Visiting Nurse Associates. The agency opened the Commonwealth's first hospice residence, the Elizabeth Evarts de Rham Hospice Home at Chilton Street (formerly Chilton House) in Cambridge, and opened Central Massachusetts's first inpatient hospice, the Rose Monahan Hospice Home. VNA Hospice & Palliative Care also operates the Stanley R. Tippett Home in Needham.  
 
VNA Hospice & Palliative Care provides patients with the opportunity to live life to the last moment with dignity and free of pain. For family members and friends, VNA Hospice & Palliative Care provides courage and guidance to accompany their loved one on this ultimate journey. Along with comfort and care, we provide expert pain and symptom management and special programs for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Cardio Pulmonary diseases (COPD) and Cancer.
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