U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, recently made a stop at the Chautauqua County office for the Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York to recognize the organization, which has served patients through in-home care for the last 125 years.
"For generations the VNA has provided top notch professional care with a personal touch," Higgins said. "The service they provide is an invaluable gift to the patients and their families and allows many to stay in their homes that otherwise couldn't. It is an honor for me to recognize this 125-year milestone and I hope their great work continues for many years to come."
In 1885, Elizabeth Coe Marshall founded what became the VNA when she collected donations to hire a traveling nurse to serve the sick in the city of Buffalo. Today, the VNA of WNY has grown to 900 nurses serving 24,000 patients annually with more than 500,000 home visits across eight counties. VNA Branch offices are located in Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Genesee and Allegany counties.
U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, is pictured during a recent stop at the Visiting Nurses Association’s office in Jamestown.
Seventy people work out of the Jamestown office facilitating almost 30,000 home visits last year alone.
A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Health Professionals examined the projected supply, demand and shortages of registered nurses between the years 2000 and 2020 and estimated that, by the year 2020, New York state will be short 44,611 nurses while nationwide the shortage is expected to reach 808,416.
The Health Care Reform Legislation contains a number of provisions that ensure the continuation and expansion of the role of nurses in health care delivery moving forward including: funding to train health care professionals; education expense assistance for those in entering the health care field; new incentives for health care professionals to locate in rural areas; and funding for electronic medical records and health information technology to facilitate improved patient care in the doctor's office and at home.