Visiting Nurses of Aroostook marks 45 years of service

9 years ago

    CARIBOU, Maine — Officials with Visiting Nurses of Aroostook (VNA) said that they’re excited to celebrate 45 years of home health services.
“We appreciate the hard work and efforts of staff and volunteers that have created a legacy of exceptional home care services,” said Lisa Harvey-McPherson, president/CEO
In 1969, Clayton Harrington was serving as the administrator of Cary Memorial Hospital and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Aroostook Home Care Agency, Inc. (AHCA), now called Visiting Nurses of Aroostook.
Edward Jackson, executive director for Aroostook Health Services Department, Inc., helped launch AHCA. At its first organizational meeting on May 1, 1969, Jackson explained that the agency’s creation was intended to “free up central Aroostook hospital beds and help physicians and patients by broadening the types of patient care available.”
Velma McCormack, RN was hired as the first director of nursing. Over the next several years, AHCA grew rapidly and expanding services to Fort Kent and Madawaska in 1970 and to Houlton in 1971. In 1989, AHCA’s name was changed to Visiting Nurses of Aroostook to better reflect the services it provides.
In 1984, an all-volunteer hospice program was initiated in central Aroostook and managed by AHCA. The program eventually expanded to all parts of the county and later had its name changed to Hospice of Aroostook. In 1991, the hospice program received Medicare certification allowing for reimbursement of services. This year Hospice of Aroostook is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“Technological advances have improved the way in which we deliver health care services, and home health is no exception,” explained Harvey-McPherson. “Our mission to serve patients at home with dignity, compassion and respect has not changed. We take great care and pride in the personal experience. We appreciate our patients inviting us into their homes and their lives to help them when they most need it,” she added.
Visiting Nurses of Aroostook merged into Bangor-based Eastern Maine Home Care in 2005. Thanks to their membership in EMHS and their dedicated, Maine-based volunteer board of directors, they’ve helped ensure that their mission to offer high quality home health and hospice services is fulfilled.
For more information about home care and hospice services, visit www.easternmainehomecare.org, or call the VNA patient referral line toll-free at 1-866-591-8843.