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Former Board Chair Leaves a Legacy of Caring for the Community

John Talbourdet remembers his mother Carolyn as a tireless advocate for local causes, giving countless hours to improve the lives of vulnerable community members.

VNA Care’s mission was of particular importance to Carolyn. She volunteered on the board of directors for many years and included a bequest to VNA Care in her will to promote access to vital, home-based health care services for all in need.

“She felt that if you had people who were ill being transitioned from a hospital or rehab facility to home, having a visiting nurse come and provide a high level of medical attention in the home environment was key to helping people return to health as quickly as possible,” said John.

Carolyn provided leadership, including serving as chair of the board of directors, during pivotal times in VNA Care’s history. She was part of efforts to join small visiting nurse associations that would evolve to become today’s VNA Care. Working together made it possible to bring more advanced treatments into patients’ homes across the region, such as developing disease management programs to address growing numbers of people living with chronic conditions.

John Archer, chair of VNA Care’s North Shore Community Cabinet and former board member, and Michael Morris, member of the board of directors and Community Cabinet, both have very fond memories of Carolyn and their times working together on important developments in home-based health care and fundraisers to support VNA Care’s programs and services.

John said Carolyn was “a very astute businessperson and incredibly valuable to the agency. She was just so smart. We were lucky to have Carolyn on the board.”

Michael shared that Carolyn “always had great questions, always knew the subject matter, and always was a proponent for patients. She was just a kind-hearted, really wonderful person.”

Later in life, Carolyn experienced the impact of VNA Care’s work as a recipient of home health care services. She was able to remain independent in her own home until her 99th birthday when she opted to move to an assisted living facility. Carolyn passed away peacefully nearly six months later on Sept. 3, 2022, surrounded by family and friends.

VNA Care is incredibly grateful that Carolyn remembered the agency through one last charitable gift, a bequest in her will that was given to our agency last year. Gifts such as these are essential to sustaining VNA Care’s charitable mission and providing comprehensive and compassionate home health and hospice care.

Carolyn had previously shared with her son John that she planned to include VNA Care in her will as part of her legacy. “It was important to my mom to help VNA Care and provide some monetary support at the end of life. I’m glad this is helping the community.”

Pictured above: At left, Carolyn Talbourdet (left) and Susan Comparone, then president of VNA of North Shore, in 1989. At right, Carolyn at her 99th birthday party.   

Learn more about Leaving a Legacy 

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