Cornerstone VNA Achieves Record Low Hospital Readmission Rate For Poly-Chronic Patients

Cornerstone VNA is proud to share this article from Health Recovery Solutions.  The full article is below or you can click here.

Cornerstone VNA Achieves Record Low Hospital Readmission Rate For Poly-Chronic Patients

by Richard Curry, Health Recovery Solutions

Cornerstone VNA of Rochester, New Hampshire, has again set the mark for excellent care with their highest-risk patient populations. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, Cornerstone VNA achieved a readmission rate of 3.4% over 146 of their high-risk, poly-chronic patients. This number far surpasses both the New Hampshire state readmission rate benchmark of 18.2% and the national benchmark of 16.7%.*

Jennifer Gullison, Clinical Director, attributes their incredible success in maintaining a low rate of hospital readmissions to the quality of care provided by Cornerstone clinicians in addition to the use of Health Recovery Solutions’ (HRS) advanced telemonitoring. “We have been using the HRS telemonitoring solution to help manage our chronic disease patients. The videos, custom education, and daily reminders helps have been extremely beneficial in allowing us to provide quality care.”

Cornerstone VNA, which is consistently rated as a top agency by patients for its quality home health care, has achieved a 4-Star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and is recognized as a Top Agency in the Home Care Elite, incorporated HRS’ innovative telemonitoring software into its leading care management programs in 2016, to support their heart failure patients. In the program, patients are provided with 4G Samsung tablets and FDA-approved Bluetooth® devices for vital biometric monitoring. Patients take and track their vitals daily while clinicians monitor them through the online portal and mobile apps. The HRS software gives clinicians the ability to monitor patients who are at high-risk for hospital readmissions and it allows seamless communication between patients and clinicians through text, phone, and video calling.

With over 85% of patients being poly-chronic, Cornerstone VNA leverages the communication tools in the HRS software, especially the video calling feature, to help their telehealth clinicians gain a more timely insight on the patient’s condition and visual inspection without having to make additional visits to the home. Anne Carle, Telehealth Clinician at Cornerstone VNA, adds “my passion is to stay connected with patients. HRS telemedicine allows me to do this daily and keep patients out of the hospital.”

“We are so fortunate to work with an incredible provider like Cornerstone VNA who serves as great example for how to deliver exceptional care daily,” stated Jarrett Bauer, CEO of HRS. “Their team has fully embraced the advantages of what the new technology found in telehealth can bring to improve the experience for their patients and the clinical experts. Combined with their well-managed clinical processes, Cornerstone VNA should be a model that all post-acute providers look to emulate.”

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, regardless of their ability to pay, 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 http://www.cornerstonevna.org or call 800-691-1133.

About Health Recovery Solutions

Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) supplies leading home care agencies with the most advanced remote monitoring platform focused on changing patient behavior to reduce readmissions and improve clinical outcomes. HRS’ disease-specific engagement kits are customized with educational video, care plans, medication reminders while integrated with Bluetooth peripherals to engage patients. For clinicians, HRS’ software allows for the management of high-risk patients and provides seamless communication with them through video chat, wound imaging and text messaging. For family members and caregivers, HRS’ software gives them the ability to be fully involved in their family member’s care and well-being. To learn more about Health Recovery Solutions, visit http://www.healthrecoverysolutions.com or call (347) 699 – 6477.

*New Hampshire and National readmission rate benchmarks from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, Home Health Compare Data Sets, July 2017

Palliative Care Director Receives Vocational Award

Kelly's Award

l to r:  Julie Reynolds, CEO, Kelly Doherty, Palliative Care Director and Katherine Berger, Transition Care Manager/Business Development Coordinator

Congratulations to Palliative Care Director, Kelly Doherty, RN-C, MSN, ARNP-BC, who received the 2017 Vocational Award from the Rotary Club of Portsmouth.  Four individuals were honored at the club’s luncheon on June 15th and Kelly was honored in the Health Care Category.

According to Katherine Berger, Transition Care Manager/Business Development Coordinator at Cornerstone VNA, “I was proud to nominate Kelly for this award and recognize her for her commitment to providing high quality palliative care as well as for her dedication to developing a successful program at Cornerstone VNA.  Since joining Cornerstone VNA in 2014, she has worked diligently to collaborate with local area hospitals, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities in order to educate staff on the benefits of Palliative Care and how it can meet the complex needs of their patients.”

According to Julie Reynolds, RN, MS, CEO at Cornerstone VNA, “Kelly is truly passionate about her work and has certainly found her calling.  She has a special way of having honest conversations with patients and their families and providing exceptional guidance to them when having difficult conversations related to end of life decisions.  She often says that this is her dream job and has done a tremendous job growing her team and providing exceptional care to our patients and educating the community about the benefits of palliative care.”

Since the development of our Palliative Care program at Cornerstone VNA, many lives have been impacted in a positive way.  Kelly and her team work to ease concerns and guides patients and their families to identifying programs that are best suited for them, such as Hospice Care, Home Care or remaining on Palliative Care.

Click on the link below to read the full article about the Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s annual Vocational Awards ceremony,

Rotary Club honors those who put ‘service above self’

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 Offers Personal Care Service Provider Training and 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 September 20 and 21 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, regardless of their ability to pay, 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 Hospice Collaborates with Hyder Family Hospice House on Drop In Grief Support Group

Cornerstone VNA Hospice in Collaboration with Hyder Family Hospice House are presenting “Living with Loss, an Open Group for Grieving Adults.” This drop in grief support group will take place on Mondays, July 11 – August 29 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at Hyder Family Hospice House, located at 285 County Farm Road in Dover, NH. Nikki Hopewill, Hospice Bereaveement and Volunteer Coodinoator at Cornerstone VNA notes; “Grief is a process and the goal of the group is to help individuals cope with feelings of grief, loss and sadness in a safe and caring environment.” This is a drop in grief support group and registration is not required. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information or details about the support group, contact Nikki Hopewill, Hospice Bereavement and Volunteer Coordinator at NHopewill@cornerstonevna.org or 332-1133 x 119.

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 Celebrates National Volunteer Week with Breakfast

2016 BreakfastIn celebration of National Volunteer Week, Cornerstone VNA held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast April 12. Hosted by the Holiday Inn Express in Rochester, the breakfast was a celebration of the volunteerism of hospice, office, companion and senior companion volunteers and board members, totaling 49 volunteers! Stonewall Kitchen, Trader Joe’s, Calef’s Country Store, Woodticks, Ox Pond Press, Boyd and Doyle Giftware, NH Pins, Windjammers Seafood Restaurant and Granite Steak and Grill provided thank you gifts and door prizes for the wonderful volunteers! Big thanks to photographer John Huff at Foster’s Daily Democrat for being there and taking this fabulous volunteer photo! Visit our Facebook page here to read the full Foster’s article.

Bereavement & Grief Support Group

Cornerstone VNA will be hosting an eight-week grief support group for adults. The goal of the group is to help individuals cope with feelings of grief, loss and sadness in a safe and caring environment. There is no charge to participate in the group sessions and advanced registration is required.

The group will meet from 3 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday from March 1 through April 19, at Cornerstone VNA, 178 Farmington Road, Rochester.

To register, contact Nikki Hopewill, BC, Hospice Bereavement Coordinator at 332-1133 ext. 119 or email nhopewill@cornerstonevna.org.

Bereavement Support Flyer 3-2016

T.J. Jean Appointed to Cornerstone VNA Board of Directors

head-shot-lores-tjCornerstone VNA welcomes Thomas J. (TJ) Jean to the Board of Directors. Jean currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Gafney Home in Rochester, and brings with him a wealth of expertise in the areas of finance, marketing, human resources and strategic planning.

“His current strategic initiative at Gafney Home includes a commitment to quality resident care and enhanced patient services which gives him a unique prospective on the importance of our mission,” states Julie Reynolds, CEO.

Jean received his degree in Business Administration from McIntosh College in Dover and Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. His previous experience includes management of the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Center for Cancer Care in Rochester, and Practice Manager for HCA Physician Services in Portsmouth.

His distinguished community service includes Frisbie Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Directorships at Federal Savings Bank, Rochester Rotary Club and Rochester Main Street. He serves on the St. Mary’s Church Finance Committee and most recently was the mayor of the City of Rochester.

Aging in Place – A Six Part Series

Aging in Place - Home Modifications article - ImageWhat is aging in place?  According to AARP, “‘Aging in Place’ is simply a matter of preserving the ability for people to remain in their home or neighborhood as long as possible.”  In a recent AARP survey, “at least 80% of older adults report that they want to remain in their homes and communities rather than move to retirement communities or supportive housing environments.”

In order to address this increased desire to age in place, Janice Howard, Life Care Private Duty Director, has initiated a six part Aging in Place series.  Her goal is to help individuals understand “aging in place” and what they may need to consider.  Through her research, Howard identified six areas of concentration:  Self, Home, Care, Finances, Transportation and Advanced Care Planning.

The first Aging In Place article addresses home modifications.  Thank you to Pam Manes, Director of Service Development, Community House Calls, for her important contribution to the Aging in Place Series.  Stay tuned for additional Aging in Place articles.

Introduction:  Aging in Place Series by Janice Howard, Life Care Private Duty Director, Cornerstone VNA

Part 1:  Home Modifications by Pam Manes, Director of Service Development, Community House Calls

Click here to learn more about the Life Care-Private Duty program at Cornerstone VNA.