By all accounts, the Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast (VNA) is a great place to work – and the proof is in the pudding. In the past month, five nurses have returned to work at the organization – they just couldn’t stay away! These include Lee Ann Hamilton, RN. Why did she return? “The answer lies in my experience with VNA,” she says. “The first time I was exposed to home care was in college. The VNA would take second year nursing students out with a seasoned home care nurse so we could see what home care was all about. I was thankful to spend two days with Sue Lee, RN. Four of the patients were in need of help to survive. One home had no windows and wood on cement blocks for flooring. This was an eye opener for my then 22-year-old self. The visits included a social worker who found patients food, clothing, and VNA provided medical supplies.”
Lee Ann started working at the VNA in 1993. Last year, another home care agency offered her a larger salary to work for them, and she accepted. “I lasted not quite four months and then called VNA’s Director of Clinical Services, Cyndi Walker, asking if I could come home! She said YES! Yay!”
Another returning nurse, Shannon Iannotta, RN, left the VNA last September to move back to Connecticut where she is originally from. “As soon as I knew we were moving back to Florida, I reached out to Cyndi Walker to ask if I could come back. I would not want to work anywhere else. The VNA truly puts patient care first. The staff have all been so good to me,” says Shannon.
And pride in the company is also a factor for both nurses. “One day coming home from working in Fellsmere I was behind a blue bus. I looked at the sign placed on the back door of the bus (and) it said Health Care on Wheels with the VNA logo,” recalls Lee Ann. “I cried. I was so proud of our VNA.”
Over 45 years ago the VNA was established and has grown tremendously. Services include not only home health, but hospice and private caregivers, making it the only local non-profit home care agency to provide a continuum of care for its patients. In 2000, the VNA expanded its home healthcare service line into Brevard County, and built the VNA Hospice House, a state-of-the art facility in Vero Beach that offers 24/7 hospice care for residents of Indian River County affected by a life-limiting illness. In 2019, VNA Private Care services were also expanded to Brevard County. The VNA provides many community wellness initiatives and offers “health care on wheels” through the VNA Mobile Health Clinic.
Caring for our patients isn’t just a job for our nurses, it’s a vocation. And, providing the highest quality care is our mission, which is evident in the VNA receiving a Five Star Rating in Patient Satisfaction from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this quarter.
If you’d like to learn more about services provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast or are interested in a career with the VNA, please visit us at www.vnatc.com or call 772-494-6161 in Indian River County or 321-805-3848 in Brevard County.