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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.

Christine first came to know the nonprofit visiting nurse association nearly a decade ago as the Manchester Woman’s Club liaison on VNA Care’s North Shore Community Cabinet.

The Club established the visiting nurse association’s home- and community-based health care services in the town in 1910. Members of the Club remain involved in VNA Care’s mission to this day, serving on the Cabinet to raise awareness of and vital charitable support for home health, palliative, and hospice care.

Christine saw another side of VNA Care this year when she became a patient after knee replacement surgery. She said she was “very blessed” to have Robert J. Pillis Jr., MPT, physical therapist with VNA Care, supporting her recovery at home.

When making decisions about health care for herself and loved ones, Christine draws on her extensive career in health care that includes nursing, clinical research, and as worldwide director of continuous improvement and customer-focused quality in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I’m very particular and selective when it comes to healthcare. I have a desire for healthcare providers to spend time with their patients and deliver excellence in care the way I used to teach customer-focused quality,” said Christine. “I had a remarkable experience with Robert and VNA Care.”

As a healthcare consumer, she evaluates her experiences based on three key factors: reliability, expertise, and responsiveness. She said Robert was “perfect in all those different ways.”

Robert put Christine at ease with her sudden lack of mobility, and taught her exercises during each visit so she could achieve her goal of walking again without assistive devices.

He offered encouragement and alternate ways to approach the exercises whenever she had difficulty. If she had any questions or concerns, she knew that Robert and the VNA Care team would respond quickly.

In just a few weeks, Christine progressed from using a walker to two crutches to one crutch. She and Robert even took a walk outside together, which, for Christine, felt like she was beginning her normal life once more.

Christine shared that she simply can’t say enough about the care she received. “Robert is friendly, reliable, approachable, knowledgeable, and simply amazing.”

She advocates for people to take an active role in their healthcare and to know that visiting nurse associations are not all the same. Each is unique, just like hospitals and doctors.

“People need to know that they have a choice when it comes to home health care,” said Christine. “VNA Care is the state’s original visiting nurse association, and the nonprofit’s commitment to the community remains as strong as it did when it began over a century ago.”

She added, “Mediocrity has no place in medical care. You should seek excellence in your care, and you can find it at VNA Care.”

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