Archives for December 2016

Cornerstone VNA Offers Personal Care Service Provider Training & Certification

Cornerstone VNA is offering a two-day training program for certification as a Personal Care Service Provider (PCSP).   A PCSP is a person who performs and assists with the routine tasks of daily living for people with disabilities and special health needs.  In general, a PCSP is someone who helps people live as safely and independently as possible.

The training will be on January 10 and 11 from 3:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Class instructors include Sandy Powers, RN, Donne Marchetto, Physical Therapist and Janice Howard, Director of Life Care-Private Duty.  The cost is $40 and will take place at Cornerstone VNA, 178 Farmington Road, Rochester, NH.   Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of this training program and are welcome to apply to be considered for a position at Cornerstone VNA as a PCSP.  Registration is required.  Contact Janice Howard, Life Care Director at 603-332-1133 x108 or e-mail jhoward@cornerstonevna.org.

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

Cornerstone VNA Introduces the Norma Snow Legacy Society

Cornerstone VNA, a nonprofit organization providing home, health and hospice care is pleased to introduce the Norma Snow Legacy Society. The Norma Snow Legacy Society was established to honor VNA founder, Norma Snow, as well as legacy society members who have made a generous commitment to Cornerstone VNA through a charitable bequest or other planned gift. A charitable bequest is a gift made through a will or living trust. Making a bequest is a simple and effective way to support the mission of Cornerstone VNA and helps to ensure that the organization will continue providing trusted, compassionate and expert health care for future generations.

norma-snow-legacy-society-plaque

At a recent gathering of staff, board members, donors and friends, a special plaque was unveiled by Norma Snow’s great grandson, Ronald Cima of New York, and Cornerstone VNA Board Member, Cathy DiPentima. “We are very proud to be able to formally recognize our founder, Norma Snow, who established the VNA in 1913,” states Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, Cornerstone VNA Chief Executive Officer. Reynolds adds, “Norma’s dream of helping others continues to inspire us as we advance the mission of Cornerstone VNA.”

Erika Lee, Director of Advancement shares, “leading up to the event, we were able to connect with Norma Snow’s grandchildren and great grandchildren, who shared photographs and stories of her kindness towards her family and the community.” Lee adds, “Norma Snow was a remarkable person and we are proud to honor her in such a meaningful way and recognize philanthropic donors who have chosen to make a planned gift to support our organization.”

For more information about the Norma Snow Legacy Society, visit www.cornerstonevna.org/the-norma-snow-legacy-society/ or contact Erika Lee, Director of Advancement at 603-332-1133 x203 or elee@cornerstonevna.org.

Cornerstone VNA is a nonprofit home, health and hospice agency currently serving 35 towns in Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

Caregiving for your loved one during the holidays

A caregiver is simply defined as a person who gives help and protection to someone.  Although caregiving can be a rewarding experience, it can also be challenging, especially around the holidays.  This holiday season, we want to celebrate caregivers and share some helpful tips, as caregiving can be the most gracious and wonderful present that your loved one could ever receive.

Preparing for the holidays can be stressful and tiring even under the best of circumstances. However, with acceptance and planning, they can be sources of great pleasure. Traditional holiday activities, which have been celebrated every year, may have to be changed to some degree.  It is important to recognize and adjust expectations, which may include starting some new traditions.  For example, if you typically host family gatherings, suggest that someone else host this year. If your home is the most convenient for you, your loved one and your family, enlist the help of friends and relatives.  From decorating and wrapping to meal preparation and cleaning, the holidays can be more enjoyable when you can spread the workload.  Try to maintain a sense of familiarity for the one you are caring for and include them in your holiday preparations as well.

Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. As a caregiver, it is important to cultivate and sustain a support system. Making lists of specific tasks that your support system can help you with enables them to tap into their strengths and skill sets while assisting you.  When someone asks; “Is there anything you need?” be prepared to reply “Yes” and offer some ways they can help you.  This may include picking up holiday items, shopping for groceries, shoveling snow or spending time with your loved one so you can run errands or exercise.  Exercise is even more important as it gives you a break, combats depression and helps you maintain your overall health and well-being.  And don’t forget to schedule regular check-ups with your health care provider(s) for preventative care.  Making healthy choices and taking care of you will help you succeed as a caregiver, not only during the busy holiday season, but throughout the year.

Setting limits is important and may include saying “No” to requests that are too draining. Remember this is your holiday too.  Let your family know that a little quiet time for yourself could be a gift beyond measure. Something this simple can be very refreshing and help you enjoy the holidays that much more.

After celebrating the holidays, take a moment to reflect on your time with family and friends and consider reaching out to them throughout the year to help you in your caregiving role.  You can also attend workshops, support groups, and visit caregiving websites.  These resources are not just for emotional support, but will provide you with helpful tips that will lead you on the path to success on your caregiving journey.

 Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit organization providing home, health and hospice care to people of all ages living within thirty-five communities in Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine.  Cornerstone VNA provides support for caregivers through their Life Care-Private Duty program as well as through their Caregivers Connect Educational Programs, Companion Volunteer Program, and Bereavement Support Groups.  For more information, call 800-691-1133 x108 or visit www.cornerstonevna.org/caregivers-connect.

This article was written by Cornerstone VNA and included in the December 2016 edition of Seacoast Seniors, a publication by Seacoast Media Group (Link to article on seacoastonline.com)

Cornerstone VNA Launches Kiddie Cornerstone Fund

Kiddie Corner Logo 2Cornerstone VNA is proud to launch a new initiative called the Kiddie Cornerstone Fund. The fund was established by Cornerstone VNA Board Member, Archana Bhargava, MD, who is also a Hematologist Oncologist at the Frisbie Center for Cancer Care at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NH. Dr. Bhargava identified a need for the fund when she discovered that the pediatric nurses at Cornerstone VNA were generously purchasing small gifts for their patients, especially patients with chronic illnesses. “When I realized that our nurses were buying gifts for patients with their own money, I approached the Board and Staff at Cornerstone VNA about establishing this special fund,” explains Dr. Bhargava. “I am so proud to support the Kiddie Cornerstone Fund,” she adds. “Money raised will not only be used to purchase gifts for pediatric patients, but we will also be able to provide support to parents, siblings and families in need.”

According to Erika Lee, Director of Advancement, “many of our smallest patients have chronic illnesses and see our nurses on a regular basis.” Lee adds, “our nurses enjoy being able to give gifts to their patients because it helps to develop positive relationships, ease anxiety and bring smiles to their faces.” Gifts may include stickers, coloring books and crayons, stuffed animals, bubbles or other items to help brighten their day. Parents with newborns will also benefit from receiving gifts, such as bibs, washcloths and cold/hot packs. Siblings of newborns will be excited to receive a toy or activity book that they can use while our nurses visit with mom, dad and baby.

Throughout the year, Cornerstone VNA nurses will identify families who are unable to afford gifts for their children during the holidays. In such cases, gifts will be purchased with available Kiddie Cornerstone funds or a special donation drive will be organized in collaboration with local businesses or schools to help families in need. Cornerstone VNA plans to distribute gas cards to families as well to assist with travel expenses to and from hospitals for medical appointments.

To make a cash gift or in-kind donation and to learn more about the Kiddie Cornerstone Fund, visit www.cornerstonevna.org/kiddie-cornerstone-fund/ or contact the Advancement Department at 603-332-1133 x203.

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

Cornerstone VNA Recognizes National Caregivers and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Cornerstone VNA is proud to celebrate the tenacity and kind-heartedness of caregivers during November, which is recognized as National Caregivers Month. This month, Cornerstone VNA hosted a special Caregivers Connect event at the Portsmouth Public Library, focused on caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  Caregivers Connect is a new initiative launched by Cornerstone VNA that provides community education programs to assist individuals in their caregiving roles.  Generously underwritten by Federal Savings Bank, the event featured keynote speaker, A. Michael Bloom, author of The Accidental Caregiver’s Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Caregiving without Regret and all attendees received a copy of Bloom’s book. There were special presentations by Ann Marie Olsen-Hayward, LICSW, Geriatric Psychiatry, Frisbie Memorial Hospital and Jenna Arsenault, RN, MSW, Behavioral Health Nurse, Cornerstone VNA. The event concluded with a panel discussion where caregivers were encouraged to ask questions. Trained staff from Cornerstone VNA also provided on-site respite care for loved ones of caregivers who attended the event.

In addition to supporting community caregivers, Cornerstone VNA provides educational opportunities for professional caregivers as well.  Earlier this year, Cornerstone VNA received a grant from the Lisa Gelfand Family Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation in the amount of $5,000.  Thanks to this generous grant award, two lead staff members, Jenna Arsenault, RN and Sandy Powers, RN attended a comprehensive Alzheimer’s Association “train the trainer” program.  Arsenault and Powers received the tools they needed to bring the program back to Cornerstone VNA and train all Licensed Nursing Assistants and Personal Care Service Providers.  The nine week training course will enable Cornerstone VNA staff to provide improved care to their patients and support for caregivers.

Further recognizing the importance of caregivers, Cornerstone VNA chose an exemplary caregiver to receive the 2016 Cornerstone Award at a recent event.  Janet Young of Dover is a loving wife and dedicated to her mission to having her husband at home.  She received this special award for being a wonderful caregiver and recognizing the importance of taking time for herself, which is essential for all caregivers in order to maintain their overall health and well-being.  “Janet is a perfect example of a successful caregiver because she makes sure to ‘Take Care to Give Care’, which is the 2016 theme of the National Family Caregivers Month,” states Janice Howard, Life Care – Private Duty Director.  Howard continues, “Janet affords herself the opportunity to recharge by meeting up with friends or taking a walk while her husband is being cared for by our staff.”

Through community events, grants and educational opportunities, Cornerstone VNA is committed to providing programs, resources and support to assist caregivers throughout the year.  For more information, visit www.cornerstonevna.org/caregivers-connect/ or call the Life Care – Private Duty program at Cornerstone VNA at 800-691-1133 x108.

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

Cornerstone VNA Named as Top Agency of the 2016 HomeCare Elite

Cornerstone VNA today announced that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2016 HomeCare Elite®, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For more than ten years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare; and sponsored by DecisionHealth, publisher of: Home Health Line, The Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual and The Home Health Coding Center.

“Improving quality of care and the patient experience continue to underpin a rapidly evolving healthcare environment,” said Christine Lang, Senior Director, Product Management, for ABILITY Network. “At the same time tracking, measuring and interpreting data that support these efforts is becoming more complex. The 2016 HomeCare Elite winners have demonstrated the highest-quality care in their communities, which is a remarkable achievement. We congratulate Cornerstone VNA on being one of the top home care agencies in the country.”

June Gallup, RN, MS, HCS-D, COS-C, BCHH-C, Quality Improvement Director at Cornerstone VNA, credits a strong commitment to continuing education for staff and specialty certifications with the agency’s ability to achieve recognition as one of the HomeCare Elite. “We are honored to receive this recognition once again,” said Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, Chief Executive Officer.  Reynolds adds, “we are incredibly proud of our staff and their continued commitment to providing the highest quality care to our patients to ensure positive outcomes.”

“We are proud to recognize the HomeCare Elite agencies for demonstrating a commitment to improving quality patient care at low costs. The clinical best practices and data tracking skills these agencies have implemented can position them for future success in government programs such as value-based purchasing and star ratings,” said Marci Heydt, Senior Content Manager, DecisionHealth.

Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,406 agencies considered, 2,353 are recognized on the 2016 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.

The entire list of 2016 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the ABILITY Network website at abilitynetwork.com/homecare-elite.

About Cornerstone VNA

Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

About ABILITY Network

ABILITY® Network is a leading healthcare information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. ABILITY is headquartered in Minneapolis with principal offices in Boston and Tampa. For more information visit www.abilitynetwork.com or write to resources@abilitynetwork.com.

For more information about HomeCare Elite, call 888.572.4009, write to HomeCareElite@abilitynetwork.com or visit www.abilitynetwork.com/homecare-elite.

About DecisionHealth®

For over 30 years, DecisionHealth has served as the home care industry’s leading source for analysis and tools to improve revenue cycle performance, profitability, regulatory compliance and quality patient care. Agencies nationwide turn to DecisionHealth for education and training, coding and billing solutions, and ongoing expert guidance through its family of online products, print solutions, and live training events. DecisionHealth also certifies home health agency professionals in ICD-10 coding and OASIS-C2 through its Board of Medical Specialty Coding & Compliance (BMSC), and provides custom consulting services to agency leaders through its DecisionHealth Professional Services unit. For product information, call 1‑855‑CALL‑DH1 or visit www.decisionhealth.com.

Cornerstone VNA Receives Support for Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitor Program

Cornerstone VNA, a non-profit home health and hospice organization, continues to identify innovative ways to support patients and the community. Since 2015, Cornerstone VNA has been involved in the Million Hearts initiative, a program that focuses on Aspirin, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Smoking Cessation. To get started, the Disease Management Team at Cornerstone VNA began working on Smoking Cessation and Blood Pressure Control, which has involved working with Frisbie Memorial Hospital’s Million Hearts group and the New England Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO) around best practices, patient education and standardized educational brochures. In an effort to help patients better manage their blood pressure, Cornerstone VNA submitted an application to the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations and was invited to participate in their self-measured blood pressure program (SMBP).

According to the QIN-QIO and the NH Division of Public Health Services, “self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring, when combined with additional support (i.e., patient counseling, education, or web-based support), has been shown to improve blood pressure outcomes in patients with high blood pressure.”

As an awardee of the SMBP program, Cornerstone has received 20 blood pressure cuffs that will be leased to patients at no charge. Clinicians at Cornerstone VNA will identify high-risk patients and provide them with a blood pressure cuff and education in the home setting to help them monitor, improve and control their blood pressure. According to Jennifer Gullison, RN, MSN, Clinical Director, “this program will give homecare clinicians tools to help our patients get control of their blood pressures and work with our Community Physicians to manage patients in their own homes.”

As part of our work with the Seacoast Public Health Network, the Million Hearts program and our new blood pressure monitor program, this “Seacoast NH Blood Pressure Commercial” was done by the University of New Hampshire Nursing students.

About Cornerstone VNA
Cornerstone VNA is a non-profit home, health and hospice agency currently serving Rockingham, Strafford, Belknap and Carroll Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine. The team at Cornerstone VNA provides skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, social work as well as volunteer and support services through five distinct programs: Home Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Life Care-Private Duty and Community Care. For more than 100 years, Cornerstone VNA has been committed to bringing services to people of all ages so that families can stay together at home, even when facing the challenges of aging, surgical recovery, chronic or life-threatening illnesses or end of life care. To learn more about Cornerstone VNA, visit www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.