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    History

    VNA is Santa Cruz County's original home health care agency. VNA Santa Cruz was first established to serve Santa Cruz County in 1946 by Nan Dorsey, a resident of Santa Cruz and Executive Director of the local Red Cross during the 1940's. While vacationing on the east coast, Nan discovered VNA and brought the concept back to Santa Cruz. Seed money for the organization came from an organization called the Community Chest, which would later be know as United Way. To this day, VNA continues its relationship with United Way.

    Initially, the focus of VNA was on child health care and educating homemakers about managing the health of their families. VNA also filled the role of Public Health Nurse and provided a mobile meals program and homemaker services. VNA was considered so important to the community that regular program updates were reported on the front page of the local newspaper.

    Staffing for VNA Santa Cruz began with one Registered Nurse, Betty Conway. She was on-call 24 hours a day, working solo for three years until a second nurse was hired. VNA of Santa Cruz continued to grow over the years and during the program's seventh year of operation, VNA Pajaro Valley was established to help better serve the needs of the south county population.

    Today

    Today, VNA Santa Cruz, is a bilingual/bicultural organization that provides a variety of services to an increasingly diverse patient population within Santa Cruz County. During the 2000 calendar year, VNA Santa Cruz made 36,000 home visits. VNA is well recognized for taking care of traditional health care needs of senior adults, but the agency's highly skilled professional nursing staff are also adept at handling acute care cases for people of all ages. VNA provides the following accredited services:

    • Nursing care by RNs
    • Expert Clinical Teams on Diabetes, Cardiopulmonary, Oncology,
      Enterostomal Therapy (Colostomy patients), Infusion Therapy,
      Mental Health and Neuro Rehabilitation
    • Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy
    • Services of Licensed Social Workers
    • Bereavement Counseling
    • Home Health Aides
    • Health Education
    • AIM (Advanced Illness Management) Program
    Emotional comfort, as well as medical comfort, is a priority.

    VNA places a strong emphasis on patient independence. VNA educates clients, their partners, and families to their desired level of knowledge regarding their particular condition.

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