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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.


Speech-Language Pathologist Focuses on Helping Patients Meet Their Goals

There’s nothing more gratifying for Amber Pombo, MS, CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist, than helping a patient reach their goals — whether it’s overcoming a swallowing disorder to eat a cheeseburger again or learn new ways to communicate with loved ones when speech is no longer possible. (read more


Doris Lynch Leaves her Legacy with VNA Care’s Hospice

Giving back to the community she cared about so deeply was simply the way Doris Lynch lived her life. Her commitment to helping others became part of her legacy through a bequest to VNA Care’s hospice program. (read more


Volunteer Makes a Difference in the Lives of Patients, Families During End-of-Life Journey

Working with individuals facing a terminal illness seems to run in hospice volunteer Debbie Krieg’s family. Among her siblings and cousins are two more hospice volunteers, two hospice nurses, and a hospice physician. (read more


Hospice Nurse Encourages People to "Enjoy the Dash" and Celebrate Life

Perhaps the most beautiful sunrise Sheila LaPointe has ever seen was from her bed at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s intensive care unit. (read more


Sisters Find Loving, Supportive, Respectful Environment for Final Days Together at VNA Care's Rose Monahan Hospice Home

Sisters Debbie Feingold and Anne Mack were constantly in each other’s company. Known as the Tirechix, the two ran the family business, Harding Tire in Worcester, for many years. Debbie laughs as she remembered, “At night we’d be on the phone for an hour because we didn’t have enough time together during the day.” (read more


Nurse Supports her Patients Throughout their Health Care Journey

Sierra Fleming believes that her role as a visiting nurse is all about going the extra mile in caring for her patients and their families. What that means changes with each and every person, but the end goal is the same — helping them heal and keeping them safe where they are happiest, in their own home. (read more


Patient Recovers, Returns to Career He Loves Through Expert Care of RN

After three weeks in the hospital, Marc couldn’t wait to return home. But one stumbling block remained — a very deep wound on his left foot that could take months to heal. Hospital staff enlisted VNA Care to help Marc safely transition from the hospital to home. (read more


Hospice Team Brings Comfort and Peace to U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

At age 81, James Capenito discovered he’d been awarded the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal for his service six decades earlier. VNA Care’s hospice team knows it’s an honor and a privilege to care for veterans and set out to recognize his service to the country. (read more


Home Health Care Team’s Collaborative Approach Helps Young Patient Begin Healing After Traumatic Accident Leads to Functional Quadriplegia

Mary received the phone call that every parent fears. Her 23-year-old son Eddie had been in a traumatic, life-threatening accident. (read more


Nurse, Home Health Patient Finds Excellence in Care at VNA Care

Christine Gauthier-Kelley, RN, has a passion and commitment to excellence in health care. Through her volunteerism and experience as a home health care patient, she found kindred spirits at VNA Care. (read more


Nurse Dedicates Career to Helping Patients Remain Healthy at Home

Delsye West Mason, RN, owes her nursing career to a meddling colleague. She was working as a secretary in a medical unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, taking liberal arts classes at UMass, and trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. (read more


Donor Gives Monthly in Memory of Aunt and to Support End-of-Life Care

The saying “no one can do everything, but everyone can do something” fuels Phyllis Roys’ charitable support for nonprofits that she sees making an impact close to home. (read more


Retired Professor has “Debt of Gratitude” to VNA Care

There was no question who Patrick Ireland would turn to when he needed highly skilled nursing services at home. His loyalty to VNA Care began nearly 30 years ago when the nonprofit provided end-of-life care to his wife Jeanettea. (read more


Couple Learns to Manage Chronic Condition, Remain Together at Home

There wasn’t a dry eye the day VNA Care’s home health care team helped Harold and Judy St. Denis achieve a victory over Parkinson’s Disease. (read more


Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse Specialists Work Towards Goal of Helping Patients Get Better, Faster

Alyssa Gray, RN, BSN, WCC, discovered her true passion as a visiting nurse when she began caring for a patient whose wounds would not heal, putting the patient at risk for a potentially life-threatening infection. Alyssa was determined to find a solution. (read more


Hospice Team’s Attention to all the “Little Things” Makes an Enormous Difference to Retired Priest, Family During Last Months Together

Diane Savarese, MD, will never forget the day her uncle, retired Catholic Priest Father Robert Gariepy, was transferred from a hospital to the Rose Monahan Hospice Home in Worcester. “The visible look of relief on his face was just absolutely amazing,” said Diane, an oncologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (read more


Home Health Patient Finds Hope in VNA Care’s Compassionate Clinicians

Steven Racki thought he finally had complications from diabetes under control. Then the pandemic came and “blew everything right off.” (read more


Hospice Nurse’s “Gentle Way” Enables Patients to Live Fully at End of Life

Edoualda Chrispin-Lovaincy, RN, BSN, discovered her calling as a teenager while caring for her grandmother with Alzheimer's disease. (read more


Social Workers Help Patients, Families Navigate Challenges that Arise During Illness, Injury or Advancing Age

Long before starting her career in social work, Shannan Martins, LICSW, admits that she believed one of the many misconceptions about social work — that the field was primarily focused on child welfare. (read more


Volunteer Devotes Retirement to Giving Back

Ask Fred Gay the secret to his longevity and good health, and the almost 98-year-old will tell you to stay off the couch, keep moving, and keep doing things. “If you’re blessed with good enough health to be around, do something with it,” said Fred. (read more


VNA Care Clinicians “a Light in a Very Dark Tunnel” for Family After Stroke

There were no signs of the brain tumor that caused Scott Granados to have a stroke nearly one year ago. He was left bedbound and spent months in rehabilitation facilities without making any progress in regaining his strength and mobility. (read more


Hospice Helps Family Matriarch Live the Way She Wanted at the End of Life

Debra Haire was known for saying exactly what she thought. So when her physician broke the news that she had stage four cancer, she didn’t waste any time telling him how she wanted to live during her last months of life. (read more


Volunteer Gives Back the Love, Care Given to her Sister by Hospice Team

Debbie Bisson doesn’t think of the Rose Monahan Hospice Home as simply the place where she volunteers. “It’s my family away from family,” she said. (read more


Physical Therapist Turns to VNA Care Colleagues When Husband Needs Rehab, Nursing After Knee Replacements

Deborah Tanner, PT, has helped many people recover from knee replacement surgery during her nearly two decades at VNA Care. But she knew she needed support for own husband’s two knee replacements. (read more


VNA Care Helps Fulfill WWII Vet’s Wish to Return Home

When so many families were kept apart, VNA Care’s hospice program gave the Scarsciotti family a tremendous gift — the chance to bring their father Joseph home so his last days could be filled with family and love. (read more

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