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Patients, Donors, Volunteers, and Staff Share Their Stories

VNA Care's mission is to provide the right care with kindness and compassion every day for every person we serve. We'll be sharing stories here about the ways our mission has made a difference in the lives of our patients and their loved ones, and what it means to our staff, volunteers, and donors who make this important work possible.

 

No Slowing Down for 84-Year-Old with VNA Care’s Nurses in his Corner

Richard “Dick” Vaughan has relied on VNA Care during some “very tough stretches” over the past three years. When the pandemic hit Massachusetts, he didn’t hesitate to welcome VNA Care’s clinicians into his home. (read more

 

Empty Nester Finds Second Act as Hospice Nurse Caring for Terminally Ill

After raising four children, Maureen McCartney found herself with an empty nest and time to take her life in a new direction. She was all set to start law school when her sister sat her down for a pep talk. (read more

 

Philanthropist Leaves Important Legacy to Benefit the Community

When people remember the late Genevieve Wyner, they are sure to have a heartfelt story about how she helped them that her devoted husband of 64 years, Justin Wyner, has never heard before. (read more

 

Nurse Reflects on Caring for Home Health Patients During the Pandemic

As Massachusetts began reopening the state, Maryanne Palizzolo, RN, noticed a big change among the patients she’s caring for at home. (read more

 

RN Shares the One Constant COVID-19 Can't Change

Although the pandemic has brought sweeping changes to health care, there’s one very important constant to Melisa Mantha, RN, a visiting nurse with VNA Care for seven years. (read more

 

Donor Remembers Wife and Honors Hospice Team for Making Their Lives Better While Facing Heart Failure

Nancy Farmer didn’t want to spend another day in a hospital. She had more than her fair share over the past 50 years. (read more

 

Defining Quality of Life Makes All the Difference for Couple Facing Cancer

When Bill Lawton, MD, and his wife Patsy Lawton, PT, learned that Bill had pancreatic cancer, their gastrointestinal doctor asked, "What do you consider a good quality of life?" Answering that question, said Bill, "makes all the difference." (read more

 

VNA Care's Home Health Team Tackles Extreme Shoulder Pain, Diabetes, and More

Tom McGrath woke up without any memory of being taken by ambulance the night before from his home at an assisted living community to a local hospital. The 82-year-old had developed pneumonia, an infection in the lungs that can be deadly if left untreated. The diagnosis required a hospital stay, but Tom couldn't wait to get back home to Barbara, his wife of 62 years. (read more

 

Hospice Patient Becomes Justice of the Peace, Reaches Goals with Support of VNA Hospice & Palliative Care

When Joan Greffrath decided to stop her cancer treatment, her doctors gave her three months to live. Over the course of the next year, Joan reached many milestones — another birthday, another wedding anniversary — with Paulette Hallihan, RN, and the hospice team from VNA Hospice & Palliative Care by her side. (read more

 

Learning to Walk Again with VNA Care

At 89 years old, Dick Smith was very active and liked to hit the gym three times a week. He wasn't going to let a fractured ankle from a fall confine him to a wheelchair. (read more

 

Keep Well Clinics Support Seniors in Maintaining Good Health and Independence

Before Joan Fitzpatrick, RN, unpacks her nursing bag, a line has already formed for VNA Care's Keep Well Clinic for seniors. It's no wonder, since Joan's been called a lifesaver. (read more

 

Nurse Specialist's Expertise in Wound Care Helped Retired LPN Back to Health After Surgery

When Linda Blais went home after major surgery to return blood flow to her foot, she was in pain and dealing with a large wound that required special equipment to help her heal. "I thought it was the end of the world," said Linda. That all changed when VNA Care's home health team started visiting. (read more

 

Hospice Team Helps Patients and Loved Ones Focus on Life

Even though Giselle Desroches, RN, cares for people in their last months of life, she thinks about hospice nursing as "how do I help a person live — live the best life that they can for as long as they can." (read more

 

Former Visiting Nurse Experiences What it's Like to be a Home Health Care Patient

Linda Haddad was taken completely by surprise when she had a heart attack three years ago. The longtime volunteer and former visiting nurse for VNA Care knew just what to do when it was time to transition from hospital to home. (read more

 

Physical Therapist Helps Patient Bounce Back After Knee Replacement and Reach Goals of Driving and Golfing Again

Bob Valair thinks that going above and beyond for patients is in Physical Therapist Lauren McKay's DNA. He saw firsthand the care she provided one of his loved ones after  back surgery. When the time came for Bob to have a total knee replacement, he told New England Baptist Hospital staff that he wanted  VNA Care to provide rehabilitation therapy in his home. (read more

 

Kindness and Compassion of Hospice Staff and Volunteers Inspire Family to Give Back

The late Alden Palmgren wouldn't be surprised to see his daughter, Anne Deedy, and grandson Matthew Palmgren, both volunteering at the Rose Monahan Hospice Home in Worcester. "As a family, it's what we do — we give back. My parents set the tone for that," said Anne. (read more

 

Longtime Supporter Becomes First-Time Patient

Louise Condon, a longtime supporter of VNA Care, found her first time as a home health care patient to be very educational. "Now I've experienced for myself why everyone's so happy when staff from VNA Care come to their home," she said.  (read more

 

Patient Credits Speedy Recovery from Hip Replacement to VNA Care's Home Health Team

Elizabeth Kershaw's surgeon got right to the point. An MRI showed  arthritis and significant deterioration of her right hip. She'd need a  hip replacement to walk without pain.   (read more

 

Music Therapy Among the Ways Hospice Supports Families and Celebrates Life

The longer Cara Brindisi works in hospice, the more she keeps "falling in love" with it. "There's so much reward and so much peace. I get to meet many different families. There's a lot of storytelling, and a lot of celebration of people's lives," said Cara, a board-certified music therapist with VNA Hospice & Palliative Care.  (read more

 

Hospice Residence a "Paradise" Where Family Makes Cherished Memories

Nancy Quinn was blessed with a healthy life with the occasional little aches and pains. But she knew something was wrong when her usual responses to those aches and pains no longer worked. A visit to the doctor revealed that she had stage IV cancer.  (read more

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